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Bombardier chairman Colin Walton: Thameslink decision 'needs to be reviewed'

July 27, 2011 11:52 AM
By By John Ficenec in The Telegraph
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

The chairman of Bombardier UK has demanded an official review of the Government's decision to reject its bid for a £1.4bn Thameslink contract in favour of Siemens, the German manufacturer.

Bombardier has announced that 1,400 jobs will be cut in Derby as a result of the loss of the Thameslink contract.

Colin Walton, who heads the UK arm of the Canadian train maker, has called for a "serious investigation" into Vince Cable's comments that the contract was "narrowly constructed and was bound to lead to the outcome it did".

In a hard-hitting piece in today's Daily Telegraph he has written that the decision "cannot be right and Ministers need to take a long, hard look at whether this state of affairs should be allowed to stand".

A spokesman for Bombardier, which has announced that 1,400 jobs will be cut in Derby as a result of the loss of the contract, said a review was particularly necessary following reports this weekend that Siemans has not even started testing vital parts that the British division has ready.

Mr Walton took to task the Coalition's argument that its hands had been tied by the procurement procedures agreed by the previous government. "I am absolutely confident that it wasn't due either to the technical quality of our products, their deliverability or to the capital price we were offering."

Government ministers have claimed the Canadian-owned train maker had little chance of competing with Siemens on the financing as Siemens can borrow at a much cheaper rate due to its credit rating.

At the weekend around 6,000 workers marched through Derby in protest at the Government's rejection of Bombardier's bid.