Labour divisions over striking workers deepen

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Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said joining the picket line would not “sort out” industrial disputes.

But former leader Jeremy Corbyn and Labour rising star Zarah Sultana joined the walk out at Euston station.

Sir Keir Starmer has tried to distance the party from the industrial action in an attempt to show Labour is ready for government.

Ms Phillipson said: “We want to be the next government, so, if we were the government, we would be around that negotiating table sorting out the dispute, we would be a party to those negotiations.”

“I don’t think being on a picket line is going to sort this problem out.”

“I think it is right that we do speak to workers who are affected by all of these cost-of-living pressures that we face, but my priority is making sure that we get a Labour government that is able to fix some of these big problems that we face as a country.”

Mr Corbyn criticised Sir Keir for sacking a shadow transport minister who gave interviews from a picket line last month.

The ex-Labour leader said Sam Tarry’s treatment was “very unfair”.

“Sam is a trade union person like me, he used to work for the TSSA, he went on a picket line to support his union and his members,” he said.

“I think to dismiss him from his shadow position was very unfair.”

He told Mr Tarry after his sacking that he was “very sorry because he was doing a very good job, he was trying to develop a… much better national transport strategy”.

Ms Sultana said she found Sir Keir’s position on the strikes “very disappointing”.

She said the party was founded by the trade union movement to advance the rights of workers, adding: “I hope the leadership reflect on that.”

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