Interserve - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:29 pm on 20th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Liberal Democrat 3:29 pm, 20th March 2019

I am glad the Government are investing in playbooks—I am not sure what sort of play is intended. It seems to be time for an overall review. Can the Minister confirm that of the 29 strategic suppliers the Government list for outsourcing, five have now run into severe financial difficulties, and that in several cases, as with Interserve, US hedge funds shorting the shares have contributed to that, putting British public services in peril? Can he confirm also that Interserve was a general supplier of probation services, the updating of sewers, waste management, bus station refurbishment, hospital cleaning and security, motorway repairs and the like, and that the record therefore—as with probation services, of which it was the largest supplier—suggests that its expertise is relatively limited?