Panic on the 18:45 to Euston

Funny things happen on trains. Last night, an incident involving a man with a gun near Rugby train station caused police to shut the West Coast main line for a few hours. I was on one of the affected trains, the Virgin 18:45 from Manchester Picadilly to London Euston. I, and many others, were coming back from the Labour Party conference.

As I strolled the platform at Nuneaton station, where our Voyager train was grounded, I was told that Labour rebel MP Siobhain McDonagh was on the train. Then, chatting to some party activists, who else should I see but the slender, blue-suited frame of schools minister Andrew Adonis, champion of academy schools and acolyte of Tony Blair, sipping a can of Heineken (he had three in front of him) and listening to his iPod.

Having learned the cause of our delay, I texted my Tribune colleague Oli Usher to let him know. He texted back : “Maybe he was sent to carry out a contract on mcdonagh”. I informed a Labour activist standing nearby, who promptly informed Adonis. Whether he then told McDonagh or not, I don’t know, but the activist mistakenly said it was “a journalist’s” idea (me).

So if the Blairites are getting jittery, maybe it’s Oli’s fault. More on Labour conference and Blairites later tonight, hopefully.

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