Grant Shapps was warned 4 months earlier than P&O Ferries sacked 800 employees that the agency deliberate cost-cutting adjustments on its UK operations, it has emerged.
Minutes from a gathering with its mother or father firm DP World reveal the transport secretary knew “industrial choices” have been looming and requested to be saved “knowledgeable”.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the corporate’s chairman, instructed him it was threatened by “a brand new low-cost competitor from Irish Ferries”, saying: “This poses challenges in respect of P&O’s operations.”
In response, Mr Shapps stated: “I’m conscious of the problems referring to P&O. I recognise you will have to make industrial choices, however please do preserve us knowledgeable,” the minutes present.
Instantly earlier than the assertion, the pair mentioned what the transport secretary referred to as the “thrilling” resolution to create a tax-cutting freeport on the London Gateway port run by DP World.
Mr Shapps added “I admire all the things you’ve achieved to help P&O. I see an incredible future for ports within the UK.”
The assembly has solely been revealed after it was disclosed by P&O chief government Peter Hebblethwaite, on the Commons committee the place he admitted knowingly breaking the regulation.
There’s additionally controversy over how a lot ministers have been instructed the evening earlier than the agency provoked fury by making 786 employees redundant with out discover, many over a Zoom name.
The division for transport has insisted Mr Shapps was solely instructed normally phrases, within the assembly on 22 November, of the challenges P&O confronted.
However Louise Haigh, Labour’s shadow transport secretary, stated: “Regardless of the clear warning indicators, Grant Shapps didn’t seem to lift a single phrase of concern for the workforce when he had the possibility.
“All through this scandal, each window of alternative to avoid wasting jobs had been missed and lots of of British employees are paying the worth.”