Night Tube

MQT on 2015-03-25
Session date: 
March 25, 2015
Question By: 
Richard Tracey
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Will you assure Londoners that London Underground will deliver the Night Tube without being held to ransom over excessive wage demands?


Answer for Night Tube

Answer for Night Tube

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes, I can give you that assurance.  We are in the middle of some negotiations, as you would expect, over that issue, but the Night Tube is a wonderful thing and the trade unions also think it is a wonderful thing.  They do now.  We are hoping very much to bring it in, but you would not expect me to go into the detail of the negotiation now. 


Richard Tracey AM:  No.  I hope you are not overoptimistic about the unions, Mr Mayor, because there is a rather worrying story published today in the Evening Standard that is setting out some of the demands that seemingly the main unions representing the drivers will be making.  Clearly, it would be a travesty for Londoners, would it not, if this Night Tube plan were to flounder because of excessive demands by these union members and their leaders?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  As I say, I have every confidence that we will be able to deliver the Night Tube without, as you say, being held to ransom by the unions.  I look forward, as I am sure all Members of the Assembly do, to a Conservative Government bringing in, finally, the legislation that we have been calling for, which Patrick McLoughlin [The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport] has now pledged so that London cannot be held to ransom, as you so eloquently put it, by wildcat strikes and irresponsible strikes triggered by a tiny minority of the relevant union membership.  We have to get away from that nonsense.  There are legislative proposals going to be brought forward by the Conservative Party at least to do away with them.  I know, looking around the Assembly, that that will command your support.


Richard Tracey AM:  Indeed, Mr Mayor.  Can I just say to you that when you and our three revered colleagues move up the Thames to take your extra seats in the House of Commons, you will be making sure that the Government does deliver that legislation and carries it all through?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Obviously, I will continue to argue for London in whatever guise I may have.  May I say, by the way, how striking it is that there have been so many successful applications from City Hall, from the Assembly, for Parliamentary seats?  I congratulate those Members.  I must say that the Labour Party has, in my view, made some grievous errors of judgment in not selecting other Members of the Assembly who might have served with great distinction.  They have made one catastrophic error in continuing to select Andrew Dismore.  It is my strong view that there has been a sad asymmetry in the Labour Group. 


Roger Evans AM (Chairman):  I have noticed a straying from the original subject matter of the question.  Mr Tracey?


Richard Tracey AM:  Clearly a winning team on this side, Mr Mayor.  I am not sure about north London.