Daily Archives: September 3, 2012

This post originally attributed the statement to Justine Greening, the transport secretary. It was actually issued by her ministerial colleague, Theresa Villiers. Apologies.

Justine Greening Theresa Villiers has just announced she has not signed a contract with FirstGroup to run the West Coast mainline as she was expected to do last week because of the legal challenge from Virgin Trains. Here is the transport minister’s full statement (emphasis mine):

On the 15 August 2012 the Department for Transport announced to the London Stock Exchange that it intended to award the InterCity West Coast franchise to First West Coast Limited, a subsidiary of First Group.

Bids were received from Abellio InterCity West Coast Limited – NV Nederlandse Spoorwegen, First West Coast Limited – FirstGroup plc, Keolis/SNCF West Coast Limited – Keolis SA and SNCF, Virgin Trains Limited – Virgin Group Holdings Limited.

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It is the day before reshuffle day, and unsurprisingly, generous-spirited backbenchers are lining up to give David Cameron advice on what he should do. Here’s a response from Douglas Carswell, the Tory backbencher, which sums up the feelings of many on the right of the party:

They don’t need to reshuffle the people, they need to reshuffle the ideas and the thinking. They can reshuffle all the personnel they want, but it is a lack of ideas that is the problem.

But of course he does have some idea of people he thinks should be brought into government:

Kwasi Kwarteng, Liz Truss, Dominic Raab: there seem to know what free markets are all about.

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