Theresa May


  • Grayling apologised for commuters affected by Southern Rail strikes
  • He was also happy with the reshuffle despite a deleted Tory tweet that said he was to be named chairman

The transport secretary has defended the government's recent reshuffle, as well as issuing his apologies for the continued delays on Southern Rail.

Chris Grayling was appearing on BBC Radio 4's Today programme to discuss the reshuffle which took place over Monday and Tuesday (8-9 January).

The overall makeup of the cabinet remained relatively unchanged, while there were huge shifts in the ministerial rungs.

At one stage the Conservatives tweeted that Grayling had been made party chairman. This was later deleted before it was confirmed that he would be remaining in his post at the Department for Transport.

Grayling said that he wasn't "angry" about the events of the week and that "nothing has changed."

Grayling has come under flak for the ongoing delays affecting passengers of Southern Rail trains, who have been hit by regular strikes over continuing industrial rows on staffing roles.

The transport secretary said he was "extremely sorry that passengers on Southern have had such a difficult time."

Adding that he was "sorry for all of the mistakes that were made on this network".

The BBC's Carrie Gracie went on to speak to Grayling about the "resemblance of the May administration to the Tudor courts of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I", and whether he thought that the scheming and ruthless nature of the court was similar to today's style of governance.

On the similarities, Grayling said that there were "not a lot", he went on to confirm that "the prime minister has only got one husband and not six, and I don't think she's quite got the same build as him".

Henry VIII is infamous as the Tudor king who had six wives during his 38-year reign over England in the early 1500s.

Henry VIII
Portrait of Henry VIII by the workshop of Hans Holbein the Younger CC