MP brandishes 'leaked e-mails warning of rail chaos'

Leaked e-mails show transport bosses were aware of possible problems with rail timetable changes as long as two years ago, Wigan's MP has told Parliament.

Wednesday, 20th June 2018, 1:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th June 2018, 3:36 pm
Wigan MP Lisa Nandy

Bombshell messages, said to have come from within the Department for Transport, describe some northern routes as "valueless", and debate the pros and cons of "classic handling strategies" when it comes to fielding criticisms of the alterations, according to Lisa Nandy.

The MP produced the stash of e-mails at Prime Minister's Question Time, earlier today, and labelled them a "disgrace".

She told the House of Commons: "I have been handed e-mails from within the Department for Transport (DaFT), that show that ministers and officials were warned of impending chaos two years ago."

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Ms Nandy said that the e-mails also discussed how a "sop" might be thrown to northern passenger groups and that there was a debate about "propagating myths" to divert the public attention over agreed planned route closures.

The MP questioned why the information contained with the correspondence had not been made known to Parliament - or whether she was "that incompetent" that she was unaware of the true nature of the situation.

Responding to her challenge, Mrs May said that "no government would ever comment on leaked e-mails from within the Department for Transport across the Despatch Box".

She told MPs that an independent panel had been advising DaFT, before the timetable changes were implemented.