25 September 2019
Vara praises local community following collapse of Thomas Cook

Shailesh Vara praises the local community that has come together to support people who have lost their jobs following the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Mr Shailesh Vara (North West Cambridgeshire) (Con)

The UK headquarters of Thomas Cook are based in my constituency. The collapse of the company has meant the loss of 1,200 local jobs. Our thoughts go out to all those people and to the thousands more across the UK who have been affected. Will my right hon. Friend join me in paying tribute to the many local organisations and companies that have come forward offering jobs to those who have been affected? The local newspaper, the Peterborough Telegraph, has been co-ordinating the activities. We have also seen acts of kindness. Peterborough United and Peterborough Phantoms, a local ice hockey team, are offering free tickets to those who have been affected. Does my right hon. Friend recognise that at this difficult time we need to appreciate and applaud the generosity that is coming through?

Grant Shapps

May I start by paying tribute to my hon. Friend, who has been working very hard through the last few difficult days with people from Peterborough who have found themselves without work? He has done tremendous work with his community to support all those who have lost their jobs. There are 630 jobcentres running the rapid response service that has been mobilised to pick up this issue for every single former Thomas Cook employee who has lost their job as a result of this appalling news. I should say that the best thing we can do is to make sure that we operate an economy where there is record high employment and record low unemployment, because that will give people the best opportunity to get back into a good job.