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Rail minister Claire Perry resigns amid furore over Southern Rail services

ByKentOnline reporter

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

Claire Perry quit the role just days after Southern Rail, which operates trains out of Ashford and Tonbridge, axed 341 services.

Train cancellations have been a problem for Southern for some months now, with disputes with staff over the potential implementation of more driver-only operated services. 

Southern Rail. Stock picture
Southern Rail. Stock picture

The Department for Transport confirmed Ms 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 - with services 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.

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