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Investigation Needed Into Claims Government Failed To Meet Thomas Cook Before Collapse

30 September 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has today written to the Chair of the Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee calling on the powerful group of MPs to investigate reports Business Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, failed to meet Thomas Cook officials prior to the firm's collapse.

The Guardian claims the Business Secretary ‘didn’t want a meeting or ask for one’ before the firm’s collapse.

Cortes is calling for the Committee’s Chair, Rachel Reeves, to ‘discover the validity’ of these claims, which Cortes describes as ‘shocking negligence’ if found to be true.

The full text of the letter is as follows -

Dear Rachel

You will recall I wrote to you on the 25th of this month asking that the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee examines the collapse of Thomas Cook.

My sincere thanks for setting up that inquiry. I look forward to your findings in due course.

The reason for writing today is, as you may have seen, The Guardian newspaper is reporting that Business Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, failed to meet Thomas Cook in the run up to the firm’s collapse.

However, the paper points out that ministers and officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) had for months been aware of the impending crisis. The Guardian further reports that the Government “didn’t want a meeting and didn’t ask for one”.

As Chair I ask now that your Committee seeks to discover the validity of claims Leadsom and BEIS had little to no discussion with the company until after it had entered liquidation.

If so, that is shocking negligence by the Government.

I have no doubt Parliament and the public will want to better understand why the Business Secretary and the Government more widely failed to lift a finger to help Thomas Cook despite knowing 9000 jobs were at risk.

Yours sincerely

Manuel Cortes

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