West Coast Mainline deal

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Trains is expected to take legal action against a decision to award a key rail franchise to another company.

First Group won the bidding process to run services on the West Coast Mainline which link the West Midlands with London. 

Yesterday Labour called for MPs to be allowed to scrutinise the deal due to be signed on Tuesday 28th August. The Department for Transport refused. 

Transport Secretary Justine Greening said that, "despite the Commons Transport Select Committee wanting to examine the new deal, winning bidder FirstGroup and the Government would put pen to paper soon. 

And she claimed that if Virgin had won the bid it would have "been perfectly happy with the process".

The Labour Party however urged Mrs Greening not to sign off the contract until MPs have been able to scrutinise it in detail. More than 140,000 members of the public have signed an online petition against the decision.

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