Rail strikes: Labour MP Tulip Siddiq comments on RMT action
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Susanna Reid and Adil Ray spoke with the Shadow Economic Secretary about the Labour Party’s stance regarding the strikes. Speaking via video link on Tuesday’s Good Morning Britain, Tulip Saddiq told the ITV hosts the Labour Party was not in support of the strikes.
However, the chat soon took a heated turn when Ray asked the MP: “Are you out of touch with your own party?”
When grilled by Reid about the Labour Party’s stance on the strikes, Siddiq replied: “Let’s put it this way, we can’t sit around and clap workers who are driving our trains or tubes during the pandemic, calling them key workers and then refuse to give them better pay conditions.
“But I want to go back to what you said, why are these people striking?
“They are striking because the situation we’re facing is the worst cost of living crisis in 30 years.
“We’re in a situation as you’ve already said, where my constituents are being told, ‘Wait 10 weeks before you even apply to renew your passport’.
“We’re in a situation where people are being told, ‘Don’t renew your driving licence because we can’t get it to you’.
“There are 400,000 currently waiting for a new driving licence. People who rely on their driver’s licence for their livelihood.”
Reid went on to point out that she was not one of the people “in one of those positions”, before grilling the MP over whether the Labour Party supports the strike action.
“We didn’t want the strike to go ahead because it’s a disruption for the country,” Siddiq simply replied.
“I’m sure you faced it as well, and we didn’t want it to go ahead at this point.
“But we are absolutely behind the workers who are saying to the government they need to get around the table to negotiate some kind of deal.
“The government hasn’t lifted a finger, they haven’t given any day or any time to these people who were desperately crying out for better conditions.”
“If you’re behind the strikers, and you support the strike action, why did your leader order front benches to stay away from picket lines?” Reid argued. “Surely that’s the most obvious way to support those workers who are striking.”
The MP hit back: “Well, as I said, we didn’t want this strike to go ahead.
“We obviously respect workers’ right to strike but we didn’t want the strike to go ahead. But the truth is we’re not in government. The government has a responsibility to sit around the table with these people, the workers and employees who are striking, listen to their concerns and come to some sort of sectoral agreement.”
Ray continued to chip in as he brought up the viewer poll GMB ran over the strikes. He said over 60 percent of Labour voters support the strikes compared to the 20 percent that opposed them.
“Are you out of touch with your own party?” he fumed as the MP added: “We shouldn’t haven’t been in a position where these strikes were even going ahead.”
Ray later went on to rage: “When the unions and workers feel that they’ve reached breaking point, the party they would expect would support them? The Labour Party.
“You’re saying even when it comes to breaking point after all that you’ve just said when it comes to a difficult decision… a lot won’t get paid if they strike.
“They haven’t got your support. They have not got the support of the Labour Party when they go out there… decide to have no money and go out and strike on the picket lines. They don’t have your support.”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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