Transport Minister Paul Clark has refused to say he thinks motorcycling is something to be encouraged, but says riders should not reject Labour.
Asked if he thought biking should be encouraged, he said: “What I would encourage as far as possible is sustainable forms of transport… I’m not specifically encouraging motorcycling but I’m certainly not seeking to stop it at all.”
MCN had invited Clark to set out Labour’s stall to motorcyclists ahead of next week’s ballot. But he struggled to come up with reasons why we should vote for the Party as riders.
When asked the question, the Labour candidate for Gillingham & Rainham instead said why he believed everyone should.
He said: “Whether you’re a motorcyclist or someone who travels by train, the issues that matter are common across the board… I would urge people to vote Labour because we’ve set out a policy and a programme of further national renewal that’s ambitious but affordable and based on fairness and respect and decency.”
Clark also said he understands why motorcyclists took offence at being branded “orphan-makers” by a Labour MP.
Nearly 4,000 riders joined a “Don’t vote Labour” Facebook group over the remark by Barry Sheerman, Labour candidate for Huddersfield.
Clark said: “I can understand why they have taken offence.
“I don’t put the blame for motorcycle casualties squarely on motorcyclists. Of course some accidents will be due to errors by the individuals themselves but that’s true of pedestrians and car drivers and anyone.”
To read Clark’s full interview, get MCN, on sale now.