Oh dear. Less than a month into his tenure as transport secretary, and Chris Grayling already has a crisis on his hands. As commuters on Southern Rail face a week of rail chaos across London and the South East thanks to strikes, there is a growing anger that Grayling is yet to take charge of the situation — despite describing it as his ‘top priority’.
As a result, the Brighton Argus have taken the unusual step of devoting a full blank page to Grayling:
It doesn’t make for an inspiring read, with the paper explaining they had originally reserved the page so Grayling could ‘give the tens of thousands of rail users details of the actions he will take to relieve their misery’. When this response failed to arrive, they had to rethink their plan of action:
‘We were preparing space for explanations about how long he will give Southern Rail to sort out the mess. In truth we were hoping for anything from the government to show it actually cared about our plight.
We regret to announce that due to circumstances beyond our control we are unable to offer you this service. Those of you who use the trains regularly will be familiar with the feeling.’
Perhaps his SpAds are on holiday?