The Association of British Commuters has rejected claims (mainly from those members of the Croydon Conservatives who rarely have to use trains) that last week’s award to Croydon South’s Chris Philp for being “the Most Useless MP in the Southern Rail Crisis” was merely a gag to generate a bit of cheap publicity as wholly false.
“It was a well-deserved award,” said a spokesperson for the ABC rail campaign group. “Philp won by a landslide margin of commuters’ votes.”
They also confirmed that ABC’s MP award was determined by a ballot of their members and supporters.
“The most useless MP award was left to a community vote, which Chris Philp won overwhelmingly,” she told Inside Croydon. “Many of our Brighton-based campaigners had expected Simon Kirby to take the gong, as he has been almost entirely absent from the discussion – not least when his constituents have begged an audience, or even a letter, from him.
“Chris Philp won by a landslide however, in a result that even surprised the organisers of the event. His recent U-turns and clear attempts to jump to and from every passing bandwagon were cited by many members as the reason for their vote.
“Those who have been personally affected by the Southern Rail Crisis have more reason than anyone to put politics aside. We have worked for almost a year on a campaign to end this scandalous franchise, a campaign that has received cross-party support from MPs of integrity across the south.
“Our judgement rests on more classical and ethical concerns than party politics: are MPs truly representing their constituents’ best interests? Do they advocate for transparency, integrity and conciliation to all parties, most especially the government? Or are they toeing the Department for Transport line in helping it desperately conceal its part in the rail crisis and industrial dispute?
“Worst of all – are they willing to forgo their constituents’ best interests for the sake of career or ideological opportunism?
“ABC campaigners (like Inside Croydon readers) are well-informed of the details of this year-long crisis, and more than alert to the hypocrisies of MPs who have been spinning the situation to fit their own purposes, rather than acting to protect their constituents.
“Such MPs have a local and national duty to ensure they hold this government to account when its conduct and decisions harm the public. Their silence is deafening and all the more embarrassing now that there is a National Audit Office investigation into the matter, a pending Judicial Review, rumours of the ‘burying’ of Chris Gibb’s damning report and DfT leaks now hitting the press.
“If Chris Philp wants to be a ‘maverick’, the path is clear for him to hold the government to account over this.
“While he does not, we seriously question his motives.”
- To put your name to a petition to “Sack Southern” and get commuter routes handed over to TfL, click here
- Southern Failways: The train driver’s story
- Southern Failways: The Tories’ role in Croydon’s commuter chaos
- Southern Failways: Civil servant wants ‘to break’ rail unions
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