Comms chief at Govia Thameslink called for Chris Grayling’s sacking

Off the rails! High-flying Govia Thameslink comms chief called for Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to be SACKED in shocking Facebook rant

  • Cathy Augustine, 57, said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling was ‘not fit to hold any ministerial office’
  • Referring to the Tory minister as ‘Failing Grayling’, she wrote that in ‘a business context’, his performance would ‘at least trigger an investigation process’ 
  • Ms Augustine, from Oxford, is Head of Internal Communications for the country’s biggest rail operator, Govia Thameslink Railway
  • She has worked at GTR when the company was forced to pay out millions of pounds in compensation after a year of shambolic timetable changes 

A communications chief at the country’s biggest rail operator called for Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to be sacked, MailOnline can reveal.  

Cathy Augustine, Head of Internal Communications for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), ranted that Grayling was ‘not fit to hold any ministerial office’.

Referring to the Tory minister as ‘Failing Grayling’, she wrote that in ‘a business context’, his performance would ‘at least trigger an investigation process’. 

Ms Augustine, 57, who lives in Oxford, is a staunch Jeremy Corbyn supporter who is a member of the extremist left-wing militant group, Momentum. 

Cathy Augustine, Head of Internal Communications for Govia Thameslink Railway, is a fanatical Labour supporter who called for Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to be sacked

Referring to the Tory minister as ‘Failing Grayling’, Ms Augustine wrote that in ‘a business context’, his performance would ‘at least trigger an investigation process’


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She has worked for GTR during the PR disaster when the company was forced to pay out millions of pounds in compensation after a year of shambolic timetable changes left the network plagued by delays and cancellations.

A petition demanding that the company be stripped of its contract gained 20,000 signatures, and prompted the Government to brand the firm’s service ‘totally unacceptable’.

Ms Augustine deleted the Facebook post when contacted by MailOnline and declined to comment. 

A spokesman for the company said: ‘This was an ill-advised post and was never intended to be made public. It has now been deleted.’ 

The revelations raise serious questions about the politicisation of the rail network, which has suffered huge disruption over the past 12 months. 

Ms Augustine, who has worked for American Express, Vodafone and Barclays, fills her Facebook timeline with pro-Labour material. 

In September, she wrote: ‘Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of socialism’, and described a fellow Corbynite’s new baby as ‘a Labour gain’. 

In August, she wrote, ‘Rise like lions… join the Labour party’, alongside a picture of Mr Corbyn carrying the slogan, ‘I have Jeremy’s back because he has mine’. 

Ms Ausgustine (left) is a staunch Jeremy Corbyn supporter and a member of the hard-left militant group, Momentum. Her employer Govia Thameslink Railway called the Facebook post calling for Grayling’s demise as ‘ill-advised’ 

Ms Augustine, who has worked for American Express, Vodafone and Barclays, fills her Facebook timeline with pro-Labour material. In August, she wrote, ‘Rise like lions… join the Labour party’, alongside a picture of Mr Corbyn

At the end of the Labour party conference, Mr Corbyn – a cheerleader for rail re-nationalisation – was mocked after he tweeted that delays on the Liverpool to London Euston line proved the case for public ownership. 

Social media users were quick to point out that the signals which caused the delays were managed by National Rail, which is publicly owned.  

GTR, Britain’s biggest rail operator, has been backed by the Department for Transport over years of severe disruption due to strikes and staff shortages.

In July, after 20,000 trains were cancelled or severely delayed in six weeks, the Department for Transport threatened to strip GTR of its franchise. 

But company bosses insisted that it was not responsible for its poor performance, blaming problems with track infrastructure and a tree falling on power lines at St Albans. 

In June, GTR services were delayed or cancelled after a major failure of a taxi booking system to get train drivers to work. It came after five weeks of disruption caused by the introduction of new timetables. 

GTR chief executive Charles Horton then stepped down after hundreds of trains were cancelled following new timetables in May. Mr Horton was also in charge of London Midland when it lost its franchise last year. 

Earlier this month, the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, announced Labour’s intention to nationalise the rail system with five years of taking power. 

The party’s 2017 general election manifesto pledged to bring private railway companies into public hands as their franchises expire. 

Speaking ahead of the party conference, Mr McDonnell said: ‘I think we are in a situation now where I think that is certainly possible. 

‘We want to get within the first term of a Labour government an integrated railway system.’ 

According to Labour policies, a public ownership unit would be established within the Treasury to develop a roadmap towards the re-nationalisation of utilities and rail services.

 

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