This from Torquemada..
Is it not time to put the Transport Secretary to the Question?
Justine Greening claims in a Tory Party press release that:
“Labour designed a system where Ministers have no powers to block Network Rail executive pay and which in 2008 saw bonuses of over half a million given out to the Chief Executive even when there were serious failures".
But DfT is a Member of Network Rail under the not-for profit corporate structure and as a result has the power to vote at the AGM.
Not only that, it has the right to appoint a Special Member to the Network Rail Remuneration Committee.
So Justine has the powers, but for some reason her officials have failed to pass on this vital piece of intelligence.
So as a Member of Network Rail our Justine could actually put her money where her mouth is and oppose the resolution on executive bonuses at the Annual Meeting.
Pish, you may say, what is one vote among a hundred votes?
But we know that DfT has, shall we say, 'influence' with the train operators, who are also Members and we can be sure that they would follow DfT's lead for fear of gainsaying their paymaster - particularly as franchise replacement approaches
And official intervention would strengthen the will of those Public Members opposed to bonus payments and, combined with some judicious 'persuasion', convert the waverers to the path of righteousness..
As the Captain-General of the Deltics hath tweeted, the killer question for Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle is 'Will the Transport Secretary use her vote to oppose any recommendations on bonus payments at the Network Rail AGM'?
But of course the Captain of Netball will do no such thing.
Presumably because, despite all the huffing and puffing, Greening is terrified that if she does the ONS will add NR debt onto the Treasury's books.
UPDATE: This from YourLocalGuardian.co.uk...
The Transport Secretary is to vote against bonuses for top Network Rail executives at the firm's AGM this week, she revealed.
But Justine Greening told the BBC Sunday Politics programme the Government has only a single vote and cannot compel rail bosses not to pay the bonuses. About 80 members can vote on the board and the result will be advisory only...
Ms Greening told the programme: "I'm going to go to the meeting next Friday, I'm going to vote against them."
Just fancy that!