Labour Frontbenchers Who Stood On Rail Picket Lines Avoid The Sack

Keir Starmer had warned his shadow cabinet that they and their teams should not attend any pro-strike demos.
RMT members on the picket line outside Edinburgh's Waverley Station, as train services continue to be disrupted following the nationwide strike by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union along with London Underground workers in a bitter dispute over pay, jobs and conditions. Picture date: Saturday June 25, 2022.
RMT members on the picket line outside Edinburgh's Waverley Station, as train services continue to be disrupted following the nationwide strike by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union along with London Underground workers in a bitter dispute over pay, jobs and conditions. Picture date: Saturday June 25, 2022.
Jane Barlow via PA Wire/PA Images

Four Labour frontbenchers who stood on picket lines during last week’s rail strikes have avoided the sack.

Labour whip Navendu Mishra, shadow minister Alex Sobel and parliamentary aides Kate Osborne and Paula Barker all defied Keir Starmer to attend pro-strike demos.

The Labour leader’s office emailed shadow cabinet members ahead of the three one-day walkouts telling them that neither they nor members of their teams should appear on picket lines.

One shadow cabinet member told HuffPost UK: “It’s a sensible decision given Tories want to blame us for their failings. We mustn’t fall into their trap.”

But in a challenge to Starmer’s authority, al four rebels were pictured on picket lines the following day.

It has now emerged that all four will be written to warning them about their future conduct - bur crucially, they are being allowed to keep their jobs.

Osborne, who is a parliamentary private secretary to shadow Northern Ireland secretary Peter Kyle, tweeted: “On the picket line at Bromley. I’m a trade unionist, I will always stand on the side of the workers. Solidarity.”

Navendu Mishra, who is MP for Stockport, tweeted: “This treacherous government has underfunded & mismanaged our public transport network for more than a decade. As a proud trade unionist, I stand with all workers on our railway network who are taking industrial action to fight for their jobs & keep passengers safe #RailStrikes.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Before You Go