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East coast rail franchise to be brought back under public control – Politics live

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Aslef, the train drivers’ union, has welcomed Chris Grayling’s East Coast announcement. This is from its general secretary, Mick Whelan.

We welcome the decision by the secretary of state for transport today to bring the East Coast back into public ownership – at least temporarily, using the vehicle of directly operated railways ltd – and hope that he will now bring the rest of our railways back into public ownership, too.

Because this is the third time in ten years that a private company has messed up on the east coast main line. When it was run in the public sector, it returned more than £1bn to the Treasury.

Labour’s John Mann says when people in his constituency voted for Brexit, one of the advantages was the government would be able to renationalise the railways. Why won’t Grayling take advantage of that?

Grayling says if you take the rail service into public control, and starve it of capital, passengers will be worse off.

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