This was epitomised by the first sentence uttered by Mr Grayling in response to misgivings about his handling of the collapse of the East Coast rail franchise for a third time in a decade: “What a lot of incoherence.” The irony of these words. This, after all, is a Minister who should be ashamed that he faced a censure motion because there’s so little confidence in him.
Accusing his opponents of peddling “misinformation”, Mr Grayling failed to show any humility and simply tried to blame Labour’s ideological opposition to rail privatisation for his many failings. The only concession was a contrite admission that the North is, in fact, served by “knackered old trains” before he left the Chamber to presumably authorise a press release, sent out by the DfT at 3.10pm when criticsm was at its fiercest, saying plans to improve Northern Rail are a top priority.
Yet the fact that there’s so much scepticism over his entire track record is because he – and his officials – have shown nothing but contempt for the regions; disrespect for Parliamentary etiquette and arrogance towards his accountability.
The North deserves better and The Yorkshire Post repeats its call for Mr Grayling’s resignation following this week’s perfect storm – cancelled trains because of poorly implemented timetable changes, fresh strike action by the unions, unanswered questions about rail franchises and a Macavity-like Transport Secretary who slipped out of the Commons when backbench MPs like Dewsbury’s Paula Sherriff accused him of representing “an out of touch Government at its most self-serving worst”. And Mr Grayling has the nerve to accuse others of incoherence...