Vince Cable Urges Government Not To Bail Out Defence Contractor Carillion

The Liberal Democrat leader and former business secretary, Sir Vince Cable, has urged ministers not to bail out the struggling construction giant and big military contractor, Carillion.

He told the BBC:

"I think what has to happen in this case is the contracts have to be kept going and supporting the supply chain and the tens of thousands of workers and that can be done by the Government taking a lot of this in-house or re-tendering in other cases."

The BBC is also reporting that high-level government meetings are being held this weekend to discuss the future of the company.

Carillion's website says it's the largest provider of facilities management to the MOD, looking after around 50,000 service family homes.

It is a key supplier to the Government and also has contracts in the rail industry, education and NHS.

The Wolverhampton-based company employs more than 19-thousand people in the UK alone.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said on Friday the Government must "stand ready to bring these contracts back into public control, stabilise the situation and safeguard our public services".

Carillion has struggled since reporting half-year losses of £1.15 billion and a meeting was held on Friday to discuss its pensions deficit.

A Government spokesperson said:

"Carillion is a major supplier to the government with a number of long-term contracts. We are committed to maintaining a healthy supplier market and work closely with our key suppliers. The company has kept us informed of the steps it is taking to restructure the business. We remain supportive of their ongoing discussions with their stakeholders and await future updates on their progress."