Tory toff jetted off to avoid rail misery : Morning Star

Soames took two FREE trips while constituents faced strikes

A TOP TORY who condemned “reckless and selfish unions” took two free jollies worth almost £8,000 while his constituents suffered strike disruption, the Morning Star can reveal today.

Mid-Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames jetted off to Dubai on a business-sponsored trip on November 3, avoiding three days of strikes by guards on Southern Rail, which serves his constituency.

The purpose of the £4,313 trip was “to gain a deeper understanding of the strategic important links between Dubai and the UK,” according to an entry in Parliament’s register of interests.

The following month he left for Bahrain during another walkout by rail union RMT.

The £3,550 junket was paid for by the country’s government, which tortures prisoners and curtails freedom of expression, according to Amnesty International.

Mr Soames took the trips after condemning the RMT’s campaign of industrial action against Southern over its plans to get rid of train guards.

Last April he ranted about “really appalling behaviour by reckless and selfish unions which will cause dreadful inconvenience for rail users.”

After hearing of Mr Soames’s sweet escapes from strike disruption, RMT general secretary Mick Cash fumed: “While Nicholas Soames was slagging off rail staff for fighting for public safety, he himself was off on jollies around the world at vast expense.



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