Sam Tarry sacked from Labour front bench after joining rail strike picket line

South Ilford MP Sam Tarry hosted a virtual session for constituents with the Shadow Secretary of Sta

Ilford South MP and shadow transport minister Sam Tarry has been sacked from the Labour front bench - Credit: Sam Tarry

Ilford South MP Sam Tarry has been sacked as shadow transport minister after appearing on a picket line during the rail strike today.

Mr Tarry joined striking workers at London Euston station on Wednesday morning - defying orders from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for MPs stay away from picket lines.

Labour confirmed Mr Tarry had been “removed from the front bench”, but claimed it was because of comments he made during television appearances.

A spokesperson said: “The Labour Party will always stand up for working people fighting for better pay, terms and conditions at work.

“This isn’t about appearing on a picket line. Members of the front bench sign up to collective responsibility. That includes media appearances being approved and speaking to agreed front bench positions.

“As a government-in-waiting, any breach of collective responsibility is taken extremely seriously and for these reasons, Sam Tarry has been removed from the front bench.”

Picket lines were set up outside railway stations this morning as thousands of members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and 14 train operators again went on strike.

The latest walk-out is part of an ongoing row over jobs, pay, pensions and conditions.

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Sir Keir had again told his front bench MPs to stay away, after failing to prevent some from joining protests earlier this summer.

Mr Tarry told ITV’s Good Morning Britain today: “If we don’t make a stand today, people’s lives could be lost.

“Some of the lowest-paid workers are on strike today in the rail industry, safety-critical workers, workers who make sure our railways get people to work and do so safely."

He added: “I have absolutely 100 percent confidence that any Labour Party MP would be in support of striking workers who have given up a day’s pay, a week’s pay or even longer.”

Mr Tarry told Sky News he is “not defying anybody”, but is supporting “40,000 low-paid transport workers”.

He later tweeted a photo that said he was “on the side of the members, not the establishment”.

Labour Party chairwoman Anneliese Dodds earlier said it is up to the whips to decide whether Mr Tarry loses his job.

It came a day after Sir Keir said: “The Labour Party in opposition needs to be the Labour Party in power.

“And a government doesn’t go on picket lines, a government tries to resolve disputes.”