AN URGENT government probe will be launched into the Thomas Cook collapse after the iconic holiday firm blamed terror attacks and massive debts for its rapid decline.
Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom wants the Insolvency Service to “fast-track” an investigation into the incident – which caused holiday heartache for thousands of Brits.
WHAT A COOK UP
The firm’s bosses are also facing scrutiny for their behaviour in the run up to the collapse.
A Government task force is being set up to support employees as well as to monitor and assess the impact on affected local businesses.
The Insolvency Service is already taking steps to pay statutory redundancy to Thomas Cook employees.
Mrs Leadsom said: “This will be a hugely worrying time for employees of Thomas Cook, as well as their customers.
“Government will do all it can to support them.
“I will be setting up a cross-Government task force to monitor local impacts, will write to insurance companies to ask them to process claims quickly, and stand ready to provide assistance and advice.
I will also be writing to the Insolvency Service to ask them to prioritise and fast-track their investigation into the circumstances surrounding Thomas Cook going into liquidation
“I will also be writing to the Insolvency Service to ask them to prioritise and fast-track their investigation into the circumstances surrounding Thomas Cook going into liquidation.”
No10 stopped short of a full investigation into Monarch’s collapse in 2017 and its private equity owner Greybull Capital.
But the airline’s failure prompted the Government to look at changes to legislation to avoid halting services abruptly when a carrier is put into administration.
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It had pledged to consider plans for an orderly wind-down of airlines that would have allowed them to look after customers themselves without the Government needing to step in.
They were hoping to learn lessons from the collapse of Air Berlin and Alitalia in Europe, which were both allowed to continue flying to enable passengers to return.
Some 110,000 passengers had to be be flown back home after the Monarch collapse, but this has now been dwarfed by the numbers of those left stranded by Thomas Cook.
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