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Confidence in the Secretary of State for Transport

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:26 pm on 19th June 2018.

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Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Infrastructure and Energy) 2:26 pm, 19th June 2018

Yes, I do. The Secretary of State says that there was a parent company guarantee of £165 million for VTEC, which is a lot of money, but if the parent company is picking up other money in franchises, including the direct award of the west coast main line, it is not actually losing that money. It should be penalised properly, and I agree with the hon. Gentleman that it should not be able to bid for other franchises. Its ability to bid for the east coast main line partnership has still not been ruled out.

The Secretary of State also justifies the predicament of the parent company by saying that it “got its sums wrong.” I remind him again that it is his Department that got its sums wrong when it carried out its due diligence and assessment. The Government are lucky that one of the other franchise bidders is not seeking redress from them, because they clearly got it wrong, and got the whole process wrong.