Jeremy Corbyn pictured with black eye and split lip as he supports strikers at picket line

Jeremy Corbyn has said he suffered a black eye and a split lip after a running injury

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The former Labour leader appeared at a picket line outside London’s Euston station on Thursday, continuing his support for striking rail workers.

Mr Corbyn could be seen sporting a black eye and split lip from what he said was a running injury.

He also took the opportunity to criticise Sir Keir Starmer’s sacking of a shadow transport minister for giving interviews from a picket line last month.

Mr Corbyn said Sam Tarry’s treatment was “very unfair”.

He added: “Sam is a trade union person like me, he used to work for the TSSA, he went on a picket line to support his union and his members.

“I think to dismiss him from his shadow position was very unfair.”

Jeremy Corbyn outside London's Euston station
Jeremy Corbyn outside London's Euston station
Jeremy Corbyn was joined by the RMT's Mick Lynch
Jeremy Corbyn was joined by the RMT's Mick Lynch

Mr Corbyn told Mr Tarry after his sacking that he was “very sorry because he was doing a very good job, he was trying to develop a… much better national transport strategy”.

Mr Corbyn's Euston appearance came as only around one in five trains were running across the country on Thursday.

The disruption for commuters was because of the walkout by members of the RMT and TSSA unions.

Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary, called on the Government to end its stance of refusing to get involved in talks over pay, jobs and conditions.

He wrote in a letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps: “Your government has made the decision to use taxpayers’ money to bail out private train companies from being liable for revenue lost because of industrial action on the condition the same companies comply with government instructions to hold down pay, cut thousands of safety critical rail jobs, introduce driver only trains and close ticket offices across the network.”

Mr Lynch said the union had calculated that, including the previous and forthcoming industrial action, more than £120million of taxpayers’ money had been used to “bail out” private train companies to date.

He said: “Using taxpayers’ money to satisfy the anti-union agenda of the Tory party and seek to break the trade unions is shameful and means the dispute will be prolonged indefinitely as the train companies don’t lose a penny as a result of the industrial action and therefore have no incentive to settle the disputes.

“Instead of waging an ideological war against rail workers, millions of voters would rather that the Government allow for a fair negotiated settlement.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Yet again, for the sixth time since June, union leaders are opting to inflict misery and disrupt the day-to-day lives of millions instead of working with industry to agree a deal that will bring our railways into the 21st century.

“Today, thousands of A-level students across the country, many of whom have spent the majority of their college years studying at home due to the pandemic, are now being denied the chance to celebrate their hard work and dedication face to face with peers and teachers.

“It’s clear strikes are not the powerful tool they once were and union chiefs are no longer able to bring the country to a standstill as, unlike them, the world has changed and people simply work from home.

“All these strikes are doing is hurting those people the unions claim to represent, many of whom will again be out of pocket and forced to miss a day’s work.

“We urge union bosses to do the right thing by their members and let them have their say on Network Rail’s very fair deal, which will deliver the reforms our rail system urgently needs.

“It’s time to get off the picket lines and back around the negotiating table – the future of our railway depends on it.”