The transport secretary refused to deny the government “scuppered” a deal with rail unions by adding a controversial last-minute clause during negotiations.
At a House of Commons transport committee, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw quizzed Mark Harper, asking him to confirm or deny whether the government added a clause allowing driver-only operation of trains on all passenger services in Britain.
Railways unions the RMT and Aslef have long-stressed the dangers of driver-only trains, which would give sole responsibility for closing and opening train doors to the driver when helping people with limited mobility, disabled people, the elderly and children.
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Harper was asked about reports that Number 10 added the clause “at the last minute”, and replied: “On reform we’re very clear.”
Exeter MP Bradshaw then cut in, saying: “Answer the question. No, answer the question.”