Thomas Cook bosses have said no government minister contacted them in the six days leading up to its collapse.
Its former chief executive Peter Fankhauser said government ministers from Germany, Spain, Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece all made personal contact with him in the lead up to the company going under.
But speaking at parliament’s business committee on Tuesday, he said no ministers from Boris Johnson’s government had reached out.
Asked whether he had spoken to any government ministers before the collapse, Fankhauser said:
“No, because we were clearly told in this meeting on the 16th and 17th that the point of contact for us was those officials…”
SNP MP Drew Hendry, who sits on the committee, called the revelation “astonishing”, while TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes claimed Andrea Leadsom’s position is now “totally untenable”.
She must walk or be fired
He said: “The fact that no British Minister contacted Thomas Cook during the six days before its collapse is utterly damning.
“We can’t have a Business Secretary that doesn’t bat for Britain, doesn’t lift a finger when 9000 jobs are on the line.
“The public will be furious at this lack of action when the business could have been saved. Leadsom’s position is now totally untenable.
“She must walk or be fired.
Iconic British brand
Mr Cortes added: “What we have learned today shows that while our Government was prepared to write off this iconic British brand for ideological reasons alone several overseas Governments were more than willing to help.
“They believed in Thomas Cook – one has to ask – why did this appalling and inert Conservative Government not feel likewise?”
The travel agency collapsed on September 23, leaving 9,000 UK staff out of work and 150,000 holidaymakers stranded abroad.
The government – along with the Civil Aviation Authority – launched the UK’s biggest ever peacetime repatriation to bring people home.
Fankhauser said he was “deeply sorry about this failure and I’m deeply sorry for the distress we caused to millions of customers who booked holidays with us and who were on holidays with us.”
He also apologised to suppliers and Thomas Cook staff who “worked extremely hard”.
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