Transport Secretary Chris Grayling apologises for rail chaos after surviving vote on job

The Tory veteran said the disastrous introduction of new timetables by Northern and Govia “was not good enough”. Referring to hundreds of cancellations and delays he said: “I’m sorry this was the case.”

But he survived a call by Labour for his pay to be docked in a stunning confidence motion by 304 votes to 271.

Labour had demanded his Ministerial salary fall by £2,400 – the cost of a season ticket to London from his Surrey constituency – because of his handling of the East Coast mainline.

The Minister last week announced the temporary nationalisation of the franchise – but said it would be back in the hands of a private operator from 2020.

Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald said Mr Grayling had “fallen desperately short”.

And he branded the current rail franchise system “totally broken”, “finished” and a “dead parrot”.

Mr Grayling insisted he was acting in taxpayers’ best interests and accused Labour of “incoherence”.

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