'I’m Not Having You Accuse Me': Journalist Clashes With Mick Lynch Over Rail Strikes

Sky's Jayne Secker hit back at the RMT boss after he accused her of being a "government mouthpiece".
Lynch and Secker
Lynch and Secker
Sky News

A Sky News presenter slapped down Mick Lynch today after he accused her of being a “government mouthpiece”.

Jayne Secker told the RMT transport union boss she reject his accusation during a tetchy exchange live on air.

The clash took place on Thursday morning as members of the RMT union at 14 train operating companies went on strike in their long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Secker pointed out people could work from home more easily now and asked Lynch: “Some would argue that you’re actually striking your own way out of the job because you’re going to contribute to the railways becoming less popular, less reliable, people are going to stop relying on the railways?”

The general secretary of the RMT replied: “Well, I don’t think that’s true. That’s a government line that you’re punting out on their behalf.”

But Secker hit back: “Excuse me. I’m talking to you about conversations I’ve had...

“Please, I’m not going to have you stand there and accuse me of being a government mouthpiece.

“I’m a human being, a middle aged woman and I’m a journalist and I’m talking to you about conversations I’ve had with people I know.

“This has got nothing to do with the government.”

Lynch said it was “exactly the phraseology” he hears across the table from government ministers.

He added: “Almost verbatim. So there you go. Maybe you’re just very in tune with what they say.”

Secker told him: “I’m in tune with the people I talk to.”

Lynch replied: “Well OK fine, maybe they’re in tune with the government as well.”

Up to three in five train services were cancelled on Thursday as a wave of industrial action spread across the country.

Teachers in England and university staff are also on strike in a continuation of a walkout on Wednesday.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We urge the RMT’s executive to put the Rail Delivery Group’s very fair offer to a democratic vote of their members, like it has on two separate occasions for RMT members working for Network Rail.”


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