The breaking news this morning is that Chris Grayling’s Department for Transport has reached a settlement for £33 million with Eurotunnel. It comes after the Transport Secretary awarded contracts un-competitively to Eurotunnel’s rivals. The company threatened to sue the department if it went ahead as planned.
Last year, Eurotunnel transported nearly 1.7 million trucks in 2018 and ran over 2,077 freight train services.
Chris Grayling had the following to say:
“While it is disappointing that Eurotunnel chose to take legal action on contracts in place to ensure the smooth supply of vital medicines, I am pleased that this agreement will ensure the Channel tunnel is ready for a post-Brexit world,”
Just last month Seaborne Freight’s contract was cancelled after the Department agreed a £14 million deal to run medical supplies from Ramsgate to Belgium in the case of no-deal. Seaborne Freight had no ferries and Ramsgate port was not fit to run ferries, after a deal with the council to dredge the port fell through at the 11th hour.
Eurotunnel contended that the tender process was illegal in the case that was brought to the high court.
‘Ending part-privatisation of probation services will cost at least £171 million.’
It can also be revealed that Grayling’s failed part-privatisation of the probation service has been strongly criticsed by the National Audit Office.
As supervision by probation has been extended to those serving under 12 months, the number of recalls to prison has increased by 47%.
By March 2018, CRCs faced collective losses of £294 million over the life of the contracts, compared to expected profits of £269 million, increasing the risk of providers withdrawing services, performance deteriorating further and potentially multiple providers becoming insolvent.National Audit Office
Amyas Morse has been deeply sceptical of the part-privatisation, citing that the reforms have failed to meet most targets, are sub-standard and have been extremely costly for taxpayers. He added that the ministry had set itself up to fail.
Analysis by Deputy Editor in Chief – Seb Chromiak
It is rye time to call another vote of No Confidence in the Transport Secretary, and it is quite frankly shameful that a Government that sacks a minister over an amendment that is Government policy allows (in the same week) Chris Grayling to survive.
What the man must do in order to receive his P45 I dare not speculate. It is a reflection on a prime minister that is incapable of leadership and effective government, the comments from the NOA say as much. Ladies and Gentlemen this is the new normal, Government officials that are said to represent a party that is efficient in its spending throwing away cash left, right and centre as we pick up the pieces.
Nevertheless it does quite literally beggar belief. I have wrote on the Secretary before and I stand by my comments, though many of his colleagues have attempted, there has been no minister less apt for public office in modern history. Countless damning reports, under his stewardship we saw the transport network come to its knees. The latest two cases add to a resume that is stacked with embarrassment.
This is 2019, this is the new normal, worse still I fear that the worst is yet to come.
Seb Chromiak is Deputy Editor in Chief at TPN and studies at the University of Manchester