Shadow transport minister hits out at PM for "blame game" over crowded trains

25 March 2020, 18:52

By Fiona Jones

This was the shadow transport secretary's response to Boris Johnson's criticism of the Tube system.

Boris Johnson stressed in Prime Minister's Questions that "we should be able to run a better Tube system" amid concerns of overcrowding during the pandemic.

Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald said he was "disappointed to see the blame game" today from the PM who looked to TfL to solve overcrowding, when the government have the "gift to solve this."

"The Mayor and TfL can only deploy the resources... that are available to them," said Mr McDonald, "the government should not be passing the buck here and blaming individuals who are travelling.

"They should resolve the issue of why those people are travelling and that is because they're not in a position to stay at home. There's too many of them still travelling to go to work to put food on the table.

Shadow transport minister hits out at PM for "blame game" over crowded trains
Shadow transport minister hits out at PM for "blame game" over crowded trains. Picture: PA

"I welcome the fact that we're going to have an announcement tomorrow from Rishi Sunak to address self-employed workers, part-time and zero hour contract workers because if we can give them the assurance that they can stay at home until this is resolved, that'll take the pressure off."

LBC's Eddie Mair pointed out that a reduced service was provided before this lockdown.

Mr McDonald responded that the TfL service was reduced in accordance to Boris Johnson's advice to stay at home - however he has not provided the means for everyone to stay at home.

The Tube should be for NHS workers and other critical workers at this time and no one else, he said.

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