A SENIOR Labour MP has been sacked for appearing on the RMT picket line in support of striking workers.

Sam Tarry, Labour’s shadow minister for buses and local transport, went against instructions from Keir Starmer to stay away from strikes taking place across the UK.

The party said he had been dismissed because he had broken the code of “collective responsibility” among the Labour frontbench, which requires senior MPs to have their media appearances approved by party high command.

They insisted Tarry, seen as being on the party’s left wing, was not fired for “appearing on a picket line”, despite the Labour leader demanding his top team from refraining from showing support for the strikes.

READ MORE: Police remove rail strikers from Central station amid noisy protest

The National:

RMT members have brought rail lines across the UK to a near standstill today as Network Rail staff and employees of 14 train operators, not including ScotRail, walked out in a bitter row over jobs, pay, pensions and conditions.

No trains were running north of the Central Belt today and very limited services were available between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Tarry – who is the boyfriend of Starmer’s deputy Angela Rayner – joined striking workers on the picket line at London Euston station, sparking speculation he would lose his job.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “If we don’t make a stand today, people’s lives could be lost.”

Asked earlier today whether he expected to be sacked by Starmer, Tarry said: “I’ve no idea what Keir will decide to do but I know this – if Keir was in government right now, this dispute wouldn’t be happening.”

Commenting, Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer said: “So far this week Keir Starmer has scrapped plans to bring essential services into public ownership, and sacked a frontbench spokesperson for joining striking workers on their picket line. At this rate he’ll have joined the race to become the new Tory leader by Friday.

"Every workforce has the right to fight to protect their pay, terms and conditions and to take industrial action as part of that fight. Rail workers may no longer enjoy the support of the Labour Party, but they can count on the support of the Scottish Greens.”

Passengers were urged to only travel by train if they must, and, if it is necessary, to allow extra time and check when their last train will depart.

READ MORE: Waste ‘could pile high’ as Scottish council workers vote for strike action

Trains will also be disrupted on Thursday morning with a later start to services as employees return to duties.

The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) has also announced a strike by its members at Avanti West Coast on Wednesday, while members of the drivers’ union Aslef at seven companies will strike on Saturday.

Mick Lynch, the RMT general secretary, said union members are more determined than ever to secure a decent pay rise, job security and good working conditions.

He said: "Network Rail have not made any improvement on their previous pay offer and the train companies have not offered us anything new.

“RMT will continue to negotiate in good faith but we will not be bullied or cajoled by anyone.”

Shapps said in his three years as Transport Secretary there has not been a single day when unions have not been in dispute by threatening or taking industrial action, with around 60 separate disputes in 2022 alone.

“Today, union bosses are once again trying to cause as much disruption as possible to the day-to-day lives of millions of hardworking people around the country,” he said.

“What’s more, it has been cynically timed to disrupt the start of the Commonwealth Games and crucial Euro 2022 semi-finals, in a deliberate bid to impact the travel of thousands trying to attend events the whole country is looking forward to.”

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Despite our best efforts to find a breakthrough, I’m afraid there will be more disruption for passengers this week as the RMT seems hell-bent on continuing their political campaigning, rather than compromising and agreeing a deal for their members.

“I can only apologise for the impact this pointless strike will have on passengers, especially those travelling for holidays or attending events such as the Uefa Women’s Euro 2022 semi-final (on Wednesday) and the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games (on Thursday).”

Meanwhile, Glasgow Subway workers will walk out in four 24-hour walk outs on four days next month - three of which are Saturdays. 

And members of the RMT and TSSA will launch co-ordinated strikes on August 18 and 20, while the RMT announced a strike on London Underground on August 19.

The National has approached Tarry for comment.