Thomas Cook

Thank you for contacting me about Thomas Cook.

I understand that it is a worrying time for Thomas Cook customers and employees and the Government has been clear that it will do all it can to support them. A cross-g taskforce was established straightaway to coordinate existing support schemes to help employees affected by the company's collapse.

I deeply sympathise with Thomas Cook employees who have been made redundant and for holiday makers who had their travel plans disrupted as a result of the company's collapse. However, I have been encouraged by the announcement that Hays Travel, the UK's largest independent travel agent, has acquired the vast majority of former Thomas Cook shops across the UK. It has now offered jobs to over 2,000 Thomas Cook employees.

The Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Service is designed to help individuals who have recently been made redundant or who think they are about to be made redundant find a new job as quickly as possible. The service can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/redundancy-your-rights/get-help-finding-a-new-job.

It is sad to see Thomas Cook, a company founded in 1841, collapse. However, it is clear that the Government stepping in and bailing out Thomas Cook would not have rendered the company more sustainable and would not have saved jobs in the long run. I am of the view that the Government should not routinely bail out companies that are unsustainable.

Furthermore, I am pleased that the Government is investigating the management of Thomas Cook. The failure of Thomas Cook also underlines the importance of having a strong and effective audit and corporate governance framework. I know that the Government is committed to reform in this area to drive up quality and to ensure that the UK's audit and corporate governance framework better serves shareholders and the wider public.

I am also encouraged that the recent Queen's Speech included airline insolvency legislation to ensure that the industry can get passengers home quickly and effectively if and when an airline goes bust.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.