Rail minister Claire Perry has resigned shortly after telling MPs that quitting her job would help resolve problems with train services in South East England and London.
There have been repeated cancellations and late-running services on the Southern Rail service, which is run by Govia Thameslink Railway. Services on Southern have been by industrial action and high levels of staff sickness. Earlier this week the company sought to ease the problems by cutting around 340 trains a day, but this in turn has attracted widespread criticism from commuters. London Mayor Sadiq Khan is among those calling for the government to strip Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) of its franchise.
On Wednesday, Perry was questions by MPs about the problems during a Westminster Hall debate. “At the moment I do not have the levers to pull to take the franchise back,” she said. “So what are we going to do? If I thought it would help by me falling on my sword, I would. I’ve thought about it repeatedly. I don't like failure, I don't fail at stuff in my life, this feels like a failure.”
Perry joined the Department for Transport in 2014. The BBC reports that the department has confirmed her departure but not given reasons for her departure.
Former House of Commons Commons leader Chris Grayling was appointed transport secretary by new Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday. He replaced Patrick McLoughlin, who becomes the Conservative Party's chairman.
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