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Tube strikes planned for this Friday and next have been suspended for further talks between London Underground and union leaders.

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Members of Aslef had planned walkouts as part of a dispute that saw workers strike on Boxing Day over working patterns.

But they will put off this week’s industrial action in order to push through an agreement with London Underground.

A spokesman for Aslef, which represents more than half of the Tube’s 3,200 drivers, said they hoped to bring the talks to a speedy conclusion.

“We can’t possibly go four years without coming to an agreement, hopefully we will have it sorted by next Boxing Day,” he said.

He denied that the public’s reaction had any effect on their decision to go back to the table.

“No, you never expect plaudits if you are taking industrial action,” the spokesman said. “Realistically, the travelling public won’t be interested in the cause of a dispute.

“They just want a train.”

Howard Collins, London Underground’s chief operating officer, said: “We note that Aslef have suspended the further two strike dates over Boxing Day working in precisely the same way as they did last year.

“We have a long-standing agreement with all trade unions which cover working arrangements on bank holidays, including Boxing Day, and we look forward to having meaningful discussions with the Aslef leadership to end this dispute.”

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