‘London needs strong leadership’: Minister slams mayor over ‘unreasonable’ Tube strikes

7 January 2022, 09:06 | Updated: 7 January 2022, 09:31

By Elizabeth Haigh

Small business minister Paul Scully told LBC London needs "strong leadership" to tackle Tube strikes and keep Londoners moving.

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Mr Scully described the strikes, carried out by members of the RMT union against requirements for Tube drivers to work night shifts, as "totally unreasonable".

"The mayor needs to get back to the table with those unions and TfL to thrash this out," he added.

The small business minister said London Mayor Sadiq Khan should not reverse his decision to review the Tube's night service.

"It’s vital to give people confidence of the safety and security about moving around London late at night.

"Workers that are maybe late workers, night workers, it gives them the safety and security to move around town."

Mr Scully also criticised the mayor's leadership over the strikes.

Read more: Longest ever Underground strike set to plunge commuters into misery in Night Tube row

"He’s good at politics, he’s not good at leadership, and what we need in London at the moment is strong leadership."

He added it is vital to keep Londoners moving, especially workers who may need to travel across the city at night.

The planned strike action is the longest ever to hit the service, starting this month and lasting until June.

Read more: Grief of paramedics after one killed and two injured in crash with cement truck

The RMT union claims the plans for the Night Tube, which would see drivers work four weekends a year, would "wreck the work life balance" of drivers.

Strikes will affect the Central and Victoria lines, the first to reinstate the Night Tube, with drivers refusing to clock on after 8.30pm on Fridays until 8am on Saturdays, and from 8.30pm on Saturdays until 8am on Sundays.

The union has also threatened to extend strike action to other lines if their demands are not met.