A Government department was today slammed for being "irresponsible" over its role in the collapse of the £5 billion West Coast Mainline rail contract.
A committee of MPs said the Transport Department had embarked on an "ambitious, perhaps unachievable" reform in haste, and claimed that ministers and senior officials were lied to.
FirstGroup was told it had won its bid to take over the franchise from Virgin Trains, but the decision was scrapped after the discovery of "significant technical flaws" in the way the procurement was conducted.
Virgin has now been told it can run the service until November 2014, with the fiasco costing taxpayers over £40 million.
The mistakes came to light after bidder Virgin Trains, which had run the West Coast Mainline since 1997, launched a legal challenge against the decision.
A Government-commissioned report led by businessman Sam Laidlaw last month gave a damning indictment of how the competition was handled.
Three members of staff at the DfT were suspended over the episode.
More top news
Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis has been stretchered off the pitch after collapsing during his side's clash with Spurs at White Hart Lane.
ITV News has obtained a video statement made by a former Royal Marine who was later killed fighting against Islamic State in Syria.
A recent three million year-old discovery in Eithiopia has pushed the timeline of human history back 400,000 years.