Dead cat specialist Michael Fallon gets his claws into Chris Grayling
The former Tory attacker-in-chief warned his colleague about ‘real anger in the villages’
The chaos facing rail passengers in northern England is totally unacceptable, Downing Street has said. But the prime minister’s official spokesman also said that Theresa May had full confidence in Chris Grayling.
That was not quite the line taken by former defence secretary Michael Fallon as he took to the airwaves amid continued cancellations and delays on Northern and Govia Thameslink Railway.
Fallon is credited with a lethal ‘dead cat’ move during the 2015 election campaign when declared that Ed Miliband had "stabbed his own brother in the back" and would be willing to "stab the United Kingdom in the back" by abandoning Trident.
A year later he struck again with the claim that Jeremy Corbyn is a bigger threat to the Falklands than Argentina.
But freed from the shackles of Lynton Crosby, an angry Fallon has preformed a remarkable about-turn and trained his fire on a Conservative colleague.
“This is now week three and this is becoming a scandal. My constituents can’t get to work in London. Their children can’t get on trains to school. And we are now into more cancellations even with the emergency timetable,” raged the MP for Sevenoaks.
He added menacingly: “I shall be meeting Chris Grayling at three o’clock and I will be leaving him in absolutely no doubt as to the real, raw anger of my constituents.”
Sounding more and more like a Labour MP by the minute, he carried on: “There are a lot of questions now as to how this ever happened in the first place, why it wasn’t properly prepared.
"Clearly the transport secretary has to demonstrate today that he has this situation on board and that he’s ready to use all his powers to start putting things right… There is real anger in the villages.”