'That’s a government line that you’re punting out on their behalf.'
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch has slammed a Sky News presenter for being a ‘government mouthpiece’ after members of the union at 14 train operating companies went on strike.
Lynch clashed with presenter Jayne Secker after she claimed that union members were ‘striking their way out of a job’.
She said: “There are others who would say that actually because of the number of strike days, they are now considering different ways of working. Since Covid people are much happier now working from home for a lot of the time and some would argue that you’re actually striking your own way out of a job because you’re going to contribute to the railways becoming less popular, less reliable, people are going to stop relying on the railways.”
The general secretary of the RMT replied: “Well, I don’t think that’s true. That’s a government line that you’re punting out on their behalf.”
But Secker hit back: “Excuse me. I’m talking to you about conversations I’ve had…
“Please, I’m not going to have you stand there and accuse me of being a government mouthpiece.
“I’m a human being, a middle aged woman and I’m a journalist and I’m talking to you about conversations I’ve had with people I know. This has got nothing to do with the government.”
Lynch said that the phraseology used was exactly the same as he hears from government ministers and went on to add: “Almost verbatim. So there you go. Maybe you’re just very in tune with what they say.”
Secker told him: “I’m in tune with the people I talk to.”
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward