THE case of a sacked railway worker is to be aired in Parliament after South West Trains refused to grant an audience to supporters armed with an 8,000 signature petition.

New Forest MP Desmond Swayne led a delegation of around 10 people to London to demand Ian Faletto be reinstated as ticket office clerk at Lymington Station.

More than 8,00 people have signed the petition in support of Mr Faletto, 49, who was fired after removing a shopping trolley from the line near the station.

When yesterday’s party reached South West Trains’ (SWT) office at London’s Blackfriars, they were told by a security guard that only Pennington vicar Alex Russell could go inside and present the petition.

After Mr Swayne insisted that a “big cheese” should meet the party, an office manager relayed a message that Mr Swayne could have a private meeting with the managing director.

Mr Swayne said: “The message we sent with the office manager back to South West Trains was ‘Go upstairs and tell the managing director from me that we’ve all spent money on his trains – time and effort as well – in coming all this way to present an 8,000-signature petition and if you haven’t got the courtesy and decency to come down and receive it, then it’s a very poor reflection on you and I think it’s pathetic.’”

He added: “For some of the people who came up, spending £45 on a return ticket was a big deal for them.”

The party eventually left unsatisfied and Mr Swayne has pledged to present the petition to the House of Commons after its Whitsun recess.

SWT said in a statement: “We are puzzled and disappointed by the attempts to create confrontation and we are particularly upset by the behaviour directed at building staff not employed by our company.”

The company believed it had an agreement with Alex Russell that a member of her party would be let into the offices to hand in the petition.

The statement said the facts of the case were “fundamentally different from the seriously inaccurate picture painted to date”.

“Today’s events, which were clearly a deliberate publicity stunt, do not change the facts of the case,” the statement said.

It added: “Our internal consideration of the case is closed and we will not be carrying out any further review of the matter.

“However, we remain ready to ensure the full facts concerning what was a serious breach of safety are made public at an employment tribunal if required.”