Bombardier Thameslink contract: Derby to quiz Cameron

Derby Conservative councillor Philip Hickson says he will ask the prime minister about Bombardier's future

The leader of Derby City Council is to ask the prime minister why Bombardier lost a contract to build new train carriages for the Thameslink project.

The government announced that a consortium led by German firm Siemens was its preferred bidder.

The deal is thought to be worth up to £1.4bn.

Conservative councillor Philip Hickson described the government's decision as a "devastating blow" for the city.

He said he was seeking a meeting with David Cameron to discuss the decision.

Transport Minister Theresa Villiers had said in a statement that the Siemens-led venture represented the best value for money for taxpayers.

'Top-level delegation'

Councillor Hickson said: "I'm in touch with government. I had a call yesterday from Theresa Villiers' office and I'm hoping to speak to her today.

"We will immediately seek a top-level delegation to try and meet with the prime minister to discuss what went wrong with this contract and why this contract did not come to Derby.

"There is no getting away from the fact that this announcement will pose a very serious risk to the regeneration of the city."

The contract to build carriages for the Thameslink upgrade was the second major bid Bombardier has lost to overseas competition.

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