No10 ‘bending over backwards’ to stop ‘forever strikes’, says Grant Shapps

Grant Shapps today said the Government is “bending over backwards” to stop the nation’s “forever strikes” as ministers prepare to formally present their new anti-strike laws to Parliament this afternoon. 

The Business Secretary said the Government is working to bring widespread pay disputes in the public sector “to a close” after ministers held talks with union leaders yesterday. 

He told Times Radio: “I do think it is important that everyone knows we want to bring these strikes, which in some cases with the railways for example seem to have turned into sort of forever strikes, we want to bring this to a close and the Government is bending over backwards to do that.”

His comments appear to confirm a continued softening in the Government’s stance on strikes. Just last month ministers were insisting they would not discuss pay with union bosses but now they are doing exactly that. 

The comments came as it was confirmed the Government will formally present its Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill to the House of Commons for its first reading later today. 

The decision to bring forward the laws, designed to curb the impact of industrial action, the day after talks on pay is likely to spark a backlash from unions. 

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