I am pleased to say that the DfT has looked at all of the facts and found significant flaws in the way it's officials handled the process. They have basically acknowledged that what we had been saying is correct. The same procedures were not followed and "deeply regrettable and completely unacceptable mistakes" were made by the Department.
At the House of Commons Select Committee we called for all franchise competitions to be paused and a thorough, independent review of the process. We are grateful that Patrick McLoughlin is now doing this.
We also appreciate the DfT publicly acknowledging these errors, and are hopeful they will now accept that Virgin Trains should carry on running the West Coast Main Line and ensure that passengers continue receiving our team's award-winning service.
The mess that is emerging over the bidding process for the West Coast Main Line will be costly and raise the question of re-nationalisation.
The decision to award FirstGroup the West Coast Main Line rail franchise has been cancelled, the Department for Transport said.