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Perry resigns after admitting Southern ‘feels like a failure’

Claire Perry has resigned as the rail minister after telling MPs that she had been considering it over the ‘failure’ of the Southern franchise.

Southern was recently forced to cancel 341 services a day in order to try and control the unexpected delays that have blighted the franchise, although it has since restored 16.

Its parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has had its PPM fall to 66.8%, lower than every other company, and faced calls from London mayor Sadiq Khan for it to lose the Southern franchise.

In a Westminster hall debate on Wednesday, Perry told MPs for the areas affected by the train shortages: “If I thought it would help by me falling on my sword, I would. I have thought about it repeatedly. I do not like failure. I do not fail at stuff in my life. This feels like a failure.”

However, she repeated her previous insistence that she did not believe stripping GTR of the franchise would solve the problems.

The Daily Telegraph quoted friends of Perry’s as saying she had resigned because she wanted “the freedom to tell the truth” about how poor our railways are and “could not face working for another secretary of state” after Chris Grayling was appointed transport secretary.

A DfT spokesperson told RTM that Perry’s replacement is likely to be announced in the next 24 hours.

As part of the government reshuffle after Theresa May became prime minister, John Hayes has been appointed as a minister at the DfT whilst Paul Maynard has been made an under-secretary, and Andrew Jones and Lord Ahmad have kept their under-secretary positions.

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Wimg   18/07/2016 at 20:35

Ohh dear, Claire , I was just beginning to like her - maybe we get Theresa Villiers back in control !

Jason   19/07/2016 at 07:24

Such a shame, I wonder if her hands were tied with the whole Southern mess and could not do actually do anything despite the pressure from all sides!

Patrick   19/07/2016 at 11:24

It's a pity that she gave so much support to the industry in her short time in office that she was unable to make any changes. She understood the railways and was one of the best Ministers for many years. Plans to scrap the awful franchise model and put in place 'not for profit' organisations that have some real interest in running the system over the long term for the benefits of passengers AND the employees, were not taken forward by those at the top. Give the people who run our transport systems some 'skin in the game' instead of pushing this awful franchise system forced on us by people who saw the profit model as the only way of delivering efficiency and productivity.

Jak Jaye   19/07/2016 at 11:39

Why should she feel she has to resign? why not the highwaymen who run GTR! they are THE worst TOC and thats saying something!! proof positive that railway privatisation was foisted on the poor rail punters so as massive profits can be made,its not working and never will,see any other country doing it?

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