The breakdown of last minute talks between London Mayor Boris Johnson and RMT union leader Bob Crow were hailed as "Fantastic news" by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls this afternoon.
The 48 hour tube strikes this week and next will have a crippling effect on tens of thousands of businesses throughout the capital. Catastrophic trading losses could run into billions of pounds, as City financial institutions lose out on up to six days of normally lucrative trading.
"At last," said Balls at today's press conference, "something that will put a stop to the country's economic recovery and wipe the smug smile off George Osborne's face! We've had far too much good news recently - falling unemployment; fastest economic growth for 7 years; 34 per cent rise in new jobs in the City... it's about time we returned to the good old days of Labour gloom and industrial unrest."
Boris Johnson later issued a statement saying "I'd like to put Ed's Cockfosters in a Fairlop and Turnham Green; then I'd put a Hornchurch in his Arsenal and a Mudchute in his Shepherd's Bush."