The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has attacked the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for saying he would be happy to join a Southern Rail picket line.
He said Jeremy Corbyn was 'putting politics before passengers'.
Labour has called for an independent review of Chris Grayling's decision to refuse proposals for Transport for London to take over Southeastern rail services.
In the Commons today, the Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald said that Chris Grayling had "put party politics ahead of passengers" over the Southeastern decision.
Chris Grayling replied saying "I cannot believe what I've just heard from him. Putting party politics before passengers, in the week when the Leader of the opposition said he would join a picket line to perpetuate the unnecessary strikes on Southern Rail that are causing so much damage to passengers."
Chris Grayling speaking in the Commons today
Strikes at Southern have cost taxpayers sixty million pounds according to the RMT union.
Ticket money lost from not running a service is paid for by the Government under the Southern contract.
Unlike other franchises parent company GTR is paid a set fee to manage the company as part of a complex arrangement with the Government liable for additional profit and losses.
The union say new clauses are also being added to other companies contracts that will mean losses for strikes will be compensated by the Government.
The RMT say it could mean more guards jobs being lost.
Southern says its plan is safe and will improve passenger service.
They insist it is not about job losses but changes to the role of guards.
They say 100 extra staff are being employed to help passengers on trains.
As with the Southern contract, the government is inserting clauses into new franchise agreements which will mean the tax payer will bankroll Teresa May’s war on the unions.
“It is absolutely scandalous that the public purse will be footing the bill for any industrial action taken against private rail companies. We also now know that that at the same time rail bosses are going to make over £1 billion implementing the government’s policy of getting rid of guards.
“It is clear that the Southern and other disputes are nothing to do with modernising our railway and everything to do with old fashioned union busting and cost cutting.”
Govia Thameslink Railway is taking a legal case against Aslef to Supreme Court over industrial action on Southern Railway.
Friday's strike by Southern Rail staff, along with possible heavy snow, could cause long delays for passengersRead the full story ›
We speak to one passenger who now works from home - and the owner of a bus company who's seen an increase in business.Read the full story ›
It's day two of the current strike on Southern Rail - this one involving members of the Aslef union.
Fewer than twenty trains will run today - normally it's more than 2,000 daily. Two hundred coaches and buses are providing a link between Southern stations and nearby neighbouring train networks.
MPs from our region say more constituents have contacted them about the strike than about anything else they can remember. Our political correspondent Phil Hornby spoke to Tim Loughton, the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham in Sussex.
Train station platforms were deserted today as hundreds of thousands of the South's commuters heeded warnings - and stayed away - on day one of a three-day Southern Rail strike. Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.
The Southern strike hasn't just been affecting commuters heading to work. Children who rely on trains to get to school have been suffering too.
A school in Sussex is sending coaches to pick up children from Ashford and Hastings on Southern strike daysRead the full story ›