UK Government rail troubleshooter asks to meet wrong minister - and spells his name wrong

Humza Yousaf was promoted from transport minister to justice secretary in June. Picture: SWNS
Humza Yousaf was promoted from transport minister to justice secretary in June. Picture: SWNS
Share this article
Have your say

A former airline chief leading the UK Government's rail review was today ridiculed for asking to meet Humza Yousaf - four months after he stopped being transport minister.

The justice secretary was flabbergasted to receive a letter from ex-British Airways executive chairman Keith Williams.

The Cabinet secretary's name was also spelled wrong in the letter, as was that of the chief executive of the Scottish Government's Transport Scotland agency.

It was addressed to "Hamza" Yousaf, while Roy Brannen was referred to as "Brannan".

Mr Yousaf tweeted: "Just received a letter from the chap appointed by the UK Govt to conduct a thorough review of the railways wanting to meet.

"Not sure I'd have loads of faith in this review, it is 4months since I was Transport Minister!"

Mr Williams had written: "I hope we can work closely together to ensure that the review delivers for passengers in Scotland."

"I look forward to meeting you and Roy Brannan when I visit Scotland.

"Whilst there. I would be keen to get out on the network to better understand the challenges and opportunities for rail in Scotland, and also hear more about your experiences of the ScotRail Alliance."

The review was ordered following the disastrous attempt by several English train operators to launch extra trains, and the third collapse of the east coast main line franchise.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: ‘We believe that any meaningful review by the UK Government must involve the full devolution of powers to enable the Scottish Government to consider the full range of options for structuring our railways in order to meet Scotland’s needs and secure its future, sustainable prosperity.”

The UK Department for Transport said the mistakes appear to have been administrative errors.

It said: "We are already in touch with Transport Scotland on the review.

"The terms of reference of the review include a requirement to consider devolved administrations, and the review team is keen to engage and learn from experiences across the UK."