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Bad news on all counts

The scrapping of the west coast mainline franchise is the real political story this week. Relations between ministers and civil servants are in jeopardy

By Peter Riddell  

The scrapping of the west coast mainline franchise is bad news for the government on all counts (photo: Edward Harris)

The most important domestic political event of the week was not the Labour party conference. It was the mess over the scrapping of the west coast mainline franchise, which was awarded only in August. The episode is bad news for the government on all counts. Financially, there is an initial cost to taxpayers of at least £40m; politically, it fuels claims of incompetence. The “omnishambles” jibes levelled over…

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