Derby

By Andrew Bounds

The government has risked a fresh fight with Derby after Theresa Villiers, rail minister, pulled out of a rail conference in the city at short notice to attend to constituency matters.

Business and civic leaders in the city, including the Conservative leader of the council, Philip Hickson, are already seething after Bombardier, the UK train maker, lost out to Siemens in a train contract.

It has shed 1,400 jobs as a result and is reviewing the future of the plant.

Ms Villiers told the Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum on Tuesday that she would not deliver a promised keynote speech on Thursday because she had a more pressing issue.