After her resignation Mrs Perry relishes new freedom to debate 'crucial issues'

Written by Tony Millett on .

Devizes Constituency MP Claire Perry has explained her decision to resign as rail minister during the changes Mrs May was making to the Conservative government with her major changes in senior and junior ministers and ministries.

In a column headed "Why I've decided to leave my post as Rail Minister', she says she asked 'not to be considered for a new front bench role'.  And she identifies two 'driving reasons for her decision'.

She points out that she has spent eighty per cent of her time as an MP on the government 'payroll' (a word she puts in quotation marks as her first government role as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Defence Minister Phillip Hammond brought no increase in her pay.)

She continues: "As we enter a period of prolonged uncertainty for the country with many important decisions to be made, I want to have the freedom to debate crucial issues and speak up for my constituents without concerns over patronage and promotion."

Her second reason concerns her work as rail minister and the chaotic state of the Southern Railway services with their very poor reliability and labour relation problems: "...I feel ultimately responsible for the chaos that has been unleashed on Southern rail passengers over the last two years."

"Of course the seeds of this situation were sown long before my tenure in the role and God knows I worked harder at the task than in any previous professional role, but to little avail and hence decided to step down."

She does aim some strong criticism at the way Britain's railways are being run by the government: "...ultimately, I believe that despite some superb people being involved, the tangled web of public/private contracting and funding and the failure to link rail improvements to delivering both greater value for customers and improvements in economic productivity will hold back further improvements in an industry that I have grown to love."