Ministers ‘can block rail payouts’

THE government has to give written approval before Network Rail can award six-figure bonuses to executives, Labour has claimed.

Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said her party had “discovered” the Department for Transport had to give written approval and could sit on a remuneration committee. Transport secretary Justine Greening said she would vote against a plan to give chief executive Sir David Higgins a £340,000 bonus at Network Rail’s AGM on Friday. She warned the government has one vote and the result would not be binding.

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Ms Eagle said: “Justine Greening is wrong to say that she cannot block these bonuses.”