Sir Richard Branson
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Richard Branson urges delay to for West Coast Mainline decision

27 August 2012 Last updated at 07:53 BST

Virgin Group boss Sir Richard Branson is backing Labour's call for the government to delay awarding the West Coast Mainline franchise to FirstGroup instead of Virgin Trains.

He said he believes FirstGroup can not afford the £5.5bn it is paying for the franchise, and has asked for the "facts to be examined".

The Department for Transport said it had "no reason" to delay the signing.

Speaking from his Caribbean island, Necker, Mr Branson told BBC Breakfast he would "bow out gracefully" from the bid if he was proved to be wrong.