The boss of Britain’s worst rail company has been awarded a £2.1m paycheck amid demands that it be stripped of its south London franchises as punishment for offering an “appalling service”.

David Brown (pictured above), chief executive of the Go-Ahead Group, which runs Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has seen his salary and bonus soar by £200,000 since 2014, it emerged this week, sparking fury among politicians and unions.

GTR, which runs Southern rail services in Epsom, Banstead and Leatherhead has long provoked passengers’ ire for delays, cancellations and overcrowded conditions.

From May: Hundreds of trains cancelled as Southern conductors stage second strike

From May: Rail network punctuality drops to worst level in almost a decade, figures show

A survey by regulators at the Office of Rail and Road found that GTR, which also runs Thameslink trains and the Gatwick Express service, had the worst punctuality in the country in the year to March 2016.

Just one in five Southern trains arrived on time in the year to March 2016.

Last month Crispin Blunt (pictured above) , MP for Reigate and Banstead, criticised GTR and called for the government to take action to address the issues of punctuality, cancelled trains and overcrowding.

He said: “Passengers have had enough and are at breaking point.

“Not only do they have to suffer an appalling service that has been much reduced for the London Bridge works, (but it) is often reduced due to cancellations and skip stopping, and has unfairly high ticket prices.

“Now rail users have to endure additional cancellations and delays due to official and unofficial action being taken by RMT against changes in the role of train conductors.”

And last week the Department for Transport (DfT) rejected the demands of a petition signed by more than 12,000 people for a formal review of GTR’s franchise.

From June: Government rejects calls for formal review of Southern's rail franchise

A government spokesman responded by saying that the DfT expected an acceptable level of service to be provided by 2018 once trains and stations are equipped with “increased capacity, renewed facilities and robust, durable infrastructure”.

Transport for London is to take over the running of all suburban rail services in London by 2021, it was announced earlier this year.

A GTR spokesman admitted passengers had “experienced a significant downturn in service, for which we sincerely apologise.”

He added: “Our service has inevitably been hit by the RMT’s industrial action by conductors which has seen a substantial increase in cancellations. Not only have we lost services on strike days but there is also an unprecedented level of conductor sickness which has now forced us to ‘pre-cancel’ 31 trains every day to limit the impact and help passengers’ better plan their journeys.

“In the latest four-week period there were 14 incidents of people hit by trains, multiple signal failures and trespassers on the track – one at Streatham North Junction causing almost 3,000 minutes of delay.”

From June: MPs want rail operator to be stripped of its franchise

From June: Union hits out at Southern Railway over 'dirty tricks' on staffing levels

The RMT is currently embroiled in a dispute with GTR over the future of conductor roles on Southern trains.

In a statement on Go-Ahead’s pre-close trading report Mr Brown said GTR was likely to suffer a 50 per cent drop in profit margins this year due to the “challenging performance and industrial relations environment”.

Go-Ahead paid out £36.7m to shareholders between July 2014 and June 2015.