Gov­ern­ment dodge blame for rail fi­asco

Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGE -

A GOV­ERN­MENT trans­port spokesman sparked fury when he re­fused to say sorry for the West Coast main­line rail fran­chise cock-up.

Earl At­tlee in­sisted a “highly re­gret­table mis­take by of­fi­cials, not by min­is­ters” was re­spon­si­ble.

And that prompted cries of “shame!” from op­po­si­tion benches.

The de­ci­sion to give the multi-bil­lion-pound fran­chise to FirstGroup was scrapped by the Gov­ern­ment last week.

Trans­port Sec­re­tary Patrick McLough­lin re­vealed “sig­nif­i­cant tech­ni­cal flaws” in the bid­ding process due to er­rors by Depart­ment for Trans­port staff.

Three civil ser­vants have been sus­pended.

At ques­tion time in the Lords, At­tlee said the cost of re­im­burs­ing four com­pa­nies for the cost of their bids will be about £40mil­lion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.