Politics latest news: Conservative Party conference targeted with ‘cynical’ rail strike action

Train drivers will stage fresh strike action to coincide with the Conservative Party’s annual conference in a move branded “cynical” and “politically motivated” by Mark Harper. 

The Aslef union announced this morning that train drivers will take industrial action on September 30 and October 4 as part of a long-running dispute over pay and conditions. 

The strikes will cover 16 train operating companies and Aslef said the walkout will force the companies to cancel all services, causing travel chaos for passengers. 

Conservative Party conference is due to take place in Manchester from October 1-4. The strikes will cause problems for people travelling to the conference the day before it starts and then again when they leave. 

Mr Harper, the Transport Secretary, tweeted: “ASLEF’s cynical strikes on 30 Sept & 4 Oct are politically motivated. Train drivers are paid an average of £60k for a 35-hour, 4 day week. 

“There’s an offer on the table to take that up to £65k – and still they strike, putting their own jobs at risk.”

Mick Whelan, Aslef’s general secretary, said: “While we regret having to take this action – we don’t want to lose a day’s pay, or disrupt passengers, as they try to travel by train – the Government, and the employers, have forced us into this position.”

You can follow the latest updates below. 

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