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Crow dubbed "Rio Bob" by Transport Secretary

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Union leader Bob Crow should be renamed "Rio Bob" after he decided to go on holiday to Brazil the week before the Tube strike, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said today.

Mr McLoughlin said Mr Crow's decision to go on holiday to Rio de Janeiro made it very difficult for talks to take place between his union, the RMT, and the mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

Replying to a question from Labour MP Dennis Skinner, McLoughlin replied "You say it takes two to talk but if one of the main leaders is out of the country - Rio Bob, I think we should start to call him - then it is very difficult to have those conversations."