A government minister has defended the increase in rail costs across England and Scotland, amid demonstrations across the UK over the hike in prices. Fares went up 1.1% on 2 January.

Labour Party members campaigned at stations across the country on Monday (4 January), with their party pledging to nationalise the rail services if brought into power. However, rail minister Claire Perry has defended the rising costs, saying the Conservative government have worked to stop prices increasing.

The Tory MP for Devizes said, "[It is] the lowest increase in years, and the first time in a decade that wage inflation will out strip rail fares, because we absolutely determined when we came into power at the last election to help people travelling on the railways. We know numbers have doubled but we want to make sure we are doing all we can to help people."

"We have capped fares at inflation plus nothing for the duration of this parliament, which means overall fares are going up by 1.1%. So, a small increase, which of course helps record investment program, but the lowest increase in many years," she added.

High profile Labour Party members including leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan have been among those campaigning against the rises.

Jeremy Corbyn/ Twitter
Sadiq Khan/ Twitter