West Coast Main Line row

The Department for Transport has tonight announced that the competition to run trains on the West Coast Main Line has been cancelled.

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Delyn MP criticises abandoned West Coast rail deal

The decision to scrap plans to award the West Coast Main Line franchise to FirstGroup have been strongly criticised by a North Wales MP.

"To announce something at 12.32am in the first place of such significance to my constituents and people in North Wales is quite frankly scandalous," says Labour's David Hanson, MP for Delyn.

"I think this is a fiasco of monumental proportions from the Government."

"It might be the right decision - we did have some concerns over the loss of the route by Virgin - but the way the Government have handled this needs some answers urgently."

Today it emerged that three Department for Transport (DfT) officials have been suspended after Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin laid the blame for the fiasco "wholly and squarely" on the DfT.

A DfT spokesman said: "Three officials involved in the West Coast franchise competition were today suspended by the Permanent Secretary while the full facts are established. No further details will be issued at this time about the suspensions."

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