Reshuffle results in third transport secretary this year

Reshuffle ++  The Prime Minister is holding the first meeting of his new cabinet this morning, having replaced a number of ministers following his appointment by the King. One of them is new transport secretary Mark Harper, who is MP for Forest of Dean. He has replaced Anne-Marie Trevelyan who was only in her post for a few weeks, having been given the job by Liz Truss. Ms Trevelyan had supported Boris Johnson in the latest competition for Conservative leader. The train operators’ group Rail Partners has welcomed Mr Harper to his post. Chief executive Andy Bagnall said: ‘Congratulations to Mark Harper on his appointment. Rail Partners and its members look forward to working closely with him and his wider ministerial team.’ Meanwhile, the transport secretary in Boris Johnson’s government Grant Shapps also served briefly as home secretary under Ms Truss, and is now business secretary in Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet.

Strikes ++ The RMT will be staging its next series of National Rail strikes on 5, 7 and 9 November in the continuing dispute over jobs, conditions and pay. Network Rail staff will walk out on all three days, and workers at most train operating companies will also strike on 5 November. In connection with separate disputes, RMT members on London Underground and Overground will strike on 10 November. A Network Rail strike had originally been planned for 3 November, but this has been postponed to the 9th so as not to disrupt the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Day. It is the second time this year that railway strikes have been postponed because of an event of national importance, because walkouts were also called off so that they would not coincide with the period of Royal Mourning in September.