Opposition to key train deal mounts

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The Independent Online

Political opposition is building over the Government's decision to award a £3bn contract to build Thameslink trains to Siemens of Germany.

The Labour frontbenchers John Denham and Maria Eagle have written to David Cameron, urging him to review the Department for Transport's decision. They said it had dealt "a body blow to the UK rail manufacturing sector" and missed an opportunity to "boost British manufacturing and help secure the jobs and growth the economy needs".

The train-maker Bombardier is to review its UK operations after missing out on the contract to build carriages for Thameslink trains. It was announced last week that the Derby-based firm had lost out to Siemens, which was named preferred bidder for the estimated £1.4bn deal. Bombardier, which employs 3,000 people in the city, said a "full review" would take place as soon as possible but would not comment on the plant's future or potential job losses.

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has also written to the Prime Minister pointing out "there is a perception that other EU countries appear to manage their public procurement processes with a sharper focus on domestic supply".

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