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DfT rail deal official hits back

A senior Department of Transport official suspended over the mishandling of the West Coast Main Line rail franchise contract as hit out at her own department for "inaccurately portraying" her role and overstating her responsibility.

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Branson criticises ex-Transport Secretary

Sir Richard Branson criticised former Transport Secretary Justine Greening today after the government was forced to make an embarrassing U-turn on the West Coast Main Line rail franchise deal.

In an interview with Channel 4 News, the Virgin boss also claimed the Department for Transport had "certainly made the same mistake" with other bids.

The previous minister of transport [Ms Greening] should have just knocked the bid into touch some months ago but chose not to.

I don't know what went on inside the Department for Transport and whether the previous minister knew all the facts or not, but certainly we appreciate the fact they acknowledged that there were major faults in the system and they have stayed the system.

– Sir Richard Branson

When asked if Ms Greening was "incompetent," Sir Richard replied said, "I'd rather not comment on previous ministers".

Obviously, we believe that she should have looked into the situation a bit more carefully and reached the same conclusions that have been reached today maybe some months back but that's past history now.

– Sir Richard Branson

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