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Labour not to be trusted on rail renationalisation

South West Green Party has said Labour cannot be trusted over their ‘partial conversion’ to renationalisation of the railways, given 13 years of inaction and their failure to support a Bill in the House of Commons on taking back the railways into public ownership.

Greens, who have been fully supportive of public ownership of railways for many years, accuse Labour of cynical electioneering. They point to the fact that the Labour Party made no attempt to take back the railways while in government and that a Railways Bill, introduced in the House of Commons by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas [1], failed to get significant Labour support.

Lead Green Party South West European candidate, Molly Scott Cato, said:

"Labour have arrived too late to catch the renationalisation train; it has already left without them, though they can’t seem to make up their minds whether they want to be aboard or not. They made no attempt at renationalisation during their 13 years in office and failed to support a Private Members Bill put forward by Caroline Lucas calling for the railways to be taken back into public ownership. And it was the Greens, not Labour, who set up a petition calling for the Great Western franchise to be taken back into public ownership [2]."

The Greens are the only political party fully committed to taking back the railways into public ownership as and when individual franchises expire or companies fail to meet the conditions of their contracts. This could, argue the Greens, save the Government over £1 billion a year. They point to the success of the publicly-owned East Coast mainline franchise which has delivered millions of pounds back to the Treasury.

Molly concluded:

"For Labour to start talking about renationalisation now, just two weeks before the European elections, shows they are desperate to try and shore up the left vote and really cannot be trusted. They know that in the last European elections in the South West, the Green Party received more votes than Labour. They are probably also aware, as are the public, that our policies on railways, energy, trade and banking demonstrate clearly that a vote for the Green Party is a vote for a Party that is genuinely left of centre."


[1] Caroline Lucas launches Private Members Railways Bill:
Full text of Private Members’ Bill:

[2] e-petition: Take back the Great Western franchise into public ownership:  

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