In its report on the west coast mainline fiasco, the Transport Committee has said embarking on the reform of franchising on the UK's most complex piece of railway was "irresponsible" and needed greater senior executive involvement and more technical expertise.
"A more direct description of what happened is that ministers and senior officials were lied to about how the outcome of the franchise competition had been reached." said the MPs' report.
"We cannot categorically rule out the possibility that officials manipulated the outcome of the competition not only to keep First Group in the running for as long as possible, as Mr Laidlaw suggested, but to ensure that First got the contract."
More top news
Labour's billboard posters during the general election campaign will focus on 'issues not personalities', the party's strategist has said.
Scientists find a cluster of spinal neurons integrate sensory data and unconsciously adjust muscles to maintain balance and avoid slipping.
Billionaire businessman Stefano Pessina has said the Labour leader's economic plans are "not helpful for business or the country."