Transport secretary Grant Shapps has accused Mick Lynch of “wasting time making false claims in the media” after the union boss accused him of wrecking negotiations.
He said in a statement: “This is a total lie from the RMT and its general secretary. I have had absolutely nothing to do with either the issuing of a letter from Network Rail, the employer, to the RMT – or any request to withdraw it.
“I understand that the letter makes no mention of 2,900 redundancies, but I do know it confirmed Network Rail would be introducing desperately needed reforms for the industry after the union chose strike action instead of further talks.
“The RMT continues to deflect from the fact that the only people responsible for the massive public disruption this week is them.
“I want to urge Mick Lynch and his members to stop wasting time making false claims in the media and instead return to the negotiating table so an agreement can be reached.”