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Transport Secretary to give evidence into West Coast Mainline contract

Transport Secretary to give evidence into West Coast Mainline contract Photo: Matt Dunham/AP/Press Association Images

The Transport Committee will today call on the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and the Department for Transport Permanenet Secretary Philip Rutnam to give evidence on the cancellation of the competition to run the West Coast Main Line franchise.

The West Coast mainline franchise was awarded to First Group, despite Virgin running the route for 15 years.

But it was withdrawn on October 3 after "significant flaws" were discovered during a judicial review into the decision, launched by Sir Richard Branson.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said "unacceptable mistakes" were made by the Department for Transport and three civil servants were suspended.

Two independent inquiries have been set up to look into what went wrong.

Three senior Department for Transport officials have been suspended pending the outcome of the inquiries.

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