Government dodge blame for rail fiasco
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.