UK Politics

Rail minister Claire Perry resigns

Claire Perry Image copyright PA

The government's rail minister has resigned - just after telling MPs she did not believe quitting would help resolve problems with train services in London and south-east England.

The Department for Transport confirmed Claire Perry had quit, but did not give reasons for her departure.

On Wednesday she said the chaos on Southern routes "feels like a failure".

There has been mounting anger from commuters after repeated cancellations and late-running services.

Passengers have held protests as services have been hit by industrial action and high levels of staff sickness, while the company has attempted to ease the problem by cutting 341 trains a day.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is among those calling for the government to strip Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which includes Southern, of its franchise.

MPs grilled Ms Perry on the issue during a Westminster Hall debate on Wednesday afternoon.

She said: "At the moment I do not have the levers to pull to take the franchise back.

"So what are we going to do? If I thought it would help by me falling on my sword, I would.

"I've thought about it repeatedly. I don't like failure, I don't fail at stuff in my life, this feels like a failure."

It is not yet known who will replace Ms Perry, with new Prime Minister Theresa May currently in the process of appointing her new government.

Former Commons leader Chris Grayling was appointed transport secretary on Thursday, replacing Patrick McLoughlin, who becomes the Conservative Party's chairman.