Employment

Mick Lynch: ‘Nobody knows what Keir Starmer stands for’

The RMT boss was speaking from a Euston picket line, where a Labour MP defied orders from the party leader to support rail workers.

train strikes

Mick Lynch on a picket line at Euston this morning. Image: Evie Breese

Union boss Mick Lynch has called the Labour party “ineffective” after Keir Starmer again banned shadow ministers from attending picket lines to support striking rail workers.

Speaking to The Big Issue from a picket line at Euston as 40,000 of his RMT union members walked out, Lynch said Labour under Starmer is fighting a “right wing agenda”.

“I don’t think they’re being effective and I can’t hear their message, I can’t hear what Keir Starmer and the front bench stands for,” he said.

“They seem to be responding to some right wing agenda that they think is out there.

“Nobody knows what Keir Starmer stands for and I don’t know if he knows what he stands for.”

Around 80 per cent of trains are cancelled as the RMT union walks out in a dispute over pay, conditions, and reforms. Workers at 14 train operators and Network Rail are taking part and all operators, including Transport for London, are affected as Network Rail staff control train movements nationwide.

It follows three days of strike action by the union in June.

During the previous train strikes, Starmer backed down on a threat to sack shadow ministers who attended picket lines.

This time, he has renewed calls for his MPs to stay away, saying: “The Labour party in opposition needs to be the Labour party in power.

“And a government doesn’t go on picket lines, a government tries to resolve disputes.” 

But MP Sam Tarry, speaking from the picket line at Euston, said it was his job as shadow transport minister to show support for the striking workers.

“Keir Starmer’s job isn’t to be here,” he told Good Morning Britain.

“I’m here as the shadow transport minister backing transport workers who are on strike, backing the general public who deserve a cost effective and cheap rail system.”

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