PM 'not ruling out' Tube strike ban in next Tory manifesto

David Cameron
Image caption Mr Cameron says his party will reconsider the issue of strike ban on the Tube

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he would "not rule out" banning strikes on the London Underground.

He said he would support action leading to fewer strikes in public services, adding the Conservatives will "look at it again before the next election".

It comes as the Sunday Politics London programme found support for a possible strike ban among London Tory MPs.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union said the prime minister was attacking "the most basic of human rights".

Mr Cameron told the BBC: "I think it would be much better if we could get to a situation where there was always mediation when these disputes came up rather than the strikes we have seen in recent years.

"So seeing fewer strikes in our public services, that is something I would support.

"We have an opportunity before the next election to look through all of these things, what a majority Conservative government would do. I think there is a case for looking again at some of these issues.

"I think the Tube's been particularly difficult in recent years. Let's go through that process and set it out in our manifesto."

Image caption Tube strikes have cost London £1bn in six years, a study found

In response Bob Crow, RMT's general secretary, said: "Of course David Cameron wants to attack the most basic of human rights of ordinary working people.

"Throughout history hard-right governments of the rich, for the rich, have swung the axe at the unions and it will be Tube workers today and firefighters and nurses tomorrow.

"Any attack on RMT Tube members' rights will be met by an all out campaign of industrial and political opposition. "

Of the 29 Conservative MPs in the London region approached by the Sunday Politics London programme, 14 responded and 12 of them supported the plans.

'Flimsy mandate'

Last month a study by the Greater London Authority Conservatives said strikes on the London Underground have cost the capital more than £1bn in six years.

The group also called for Tube strikes to be banned and replaced by a compulsory mediation process.

Boris Johnson's spokesman said the mayor had lobbied ministers and the prime minister for years for "a raft of measures designed to minimise the impact of strike action on the Tube" and would welcome any such move.

"The reality is that a small minority of union members have persistently sought to strike on a flimsy mandate, costing London's economy millions whilst frustrating hard working Londoners.

"At a minimum the mayor wants new legislation that would outlaw strike action not supported by a majority of all union members, the so called 50% plus 1 threshold," he added.

The Sunday Politics London programme is on BBC One at 11:00 BST on Sunday.

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