SNP set to join forces with Tories to block Scotrail nationalisation

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has criticised SNP spin over plans to block rail nationalisation as "disgraceful". 

 

Scottish Labour have tabled a motion at Holyrood demanding an end to the Abellio contract to run Scotrail three years early in 2022.

The party highlighted the companies disastrous performance, revealing that nearly 75,000 trains have been cancelled since Abellio won the contract in 2015.  

Despite repeated failures to deliver improvements, passengers have also been hit with a 13 per cent price hike. 

The bid is backed by all major transport unions, including the RMT. 

Abellio managing director insisted that the "upheaval" of a change in franchise ownership would cause more problems, despite an average of 50 trains per day being cancelled under his watch. 

Transport secretary Michael Matheson indicated the SNP would not be supporting Labour's motion. 

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said the public would see through SNP spin:

"It is disgraceful that the SNP are resorting to shameful distraction techniques to mask the fact they will be voting for the continuation of the failed privatised ScotRail franchise this evening.

"The SNP has laid down an amendment which purports to call for ‘Scottish public control’, and yet tonight they will vote to leave ScotRail in the hands of the rotten private franchising system and the Dutch state.

"But the public will see through it. In joining forces with the Tories to scupper our motion, the SNP will leave thousands of rail passengers in no doubt that they are in cahoots with the transport bosses fleecing us for a railway where almost 50 trains are cancelled every day."

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