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'She has let Wolverhampton down': Councillor fury at MP for not speaking out on Carillion crisis sooner

By Pete Madeley | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Wolverhampton MP Eleanor Smith has been accused of ‘letting the city down’ after revealing she kept quiet about her fears for crisis-hit Carillion.

MP Eleanor Smith, who has been accused of letting Wolverhampton down

Ms Smith admitted she knew the firm was in trouble in September, but said she feared that bringing it up in Parliament would have been seen as ‘scaremongering’.

The Labour MP for Wolverhampton South West has called for an urgent meeting with ministers to discuss the collapse of Carillion – which has its HQ in Salop Street in the city.

But she has been accused of ‘missing the boat’ after the firm announced on Monday that it had gone into liquidation, putting around 400 city jobs at risk.

Ms Smith told the BBC there had been talk of Carillion’s problems in September but she added: “What you do not want to do is bring in a state of panic, do you?”

Wolverhampton council’s Conservative opposition leader Wendy Thompson said: “She should have taken her concerns forward at the time.

Wendy Thompson

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"As an MP that is her duty, and she is in the perfect position to speak to ministers about Carillion.

“Sadly now she has missed the boat, and quite frankly she has let Wolverhampton down. People here expect better.”

Uncertain future

Yesterday Wolverhampton council said it would cover the wages of Carillion caretaking and maintenance staff at four schools in the city.

However, the future of huge projects such as the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, in Smethwick, and the widening of the M6 in Staffordshire remain up in the air.

It came as Business Secretary Greg Clark announced an investigation into Carillion would include a probe into the actions of company directors, while shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Labour was opposed to any public bail out of the company and insisted: “We need a full public inquiry.”

Pete Madeley

By Pete Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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