Lucrative bonuses for Carillion ex-bosses halted

Carillion directors to be investigated

Lidington told parliament the government would continue to pay those among Carillion's 19,500 United Kingdom staff who work in public sector jobs, such as NHS cleaners and school catering.

He said: "For subcontractors awaiting payment for work carried out for Carillion, there will be an immediate impact on cash flow".

Business Secretary Greg Clark gave the order that will see company directors past and present probed to discover if they "caused detriment to those owed money".

In the Commons this lunchtime she said workers on Carillion's public service projects should continue turning up, "confident in the knowledge that they will be paid for the work they are providing".

Mrs May retorted: "We're making sure in this case that public services continue to be provided, that workers in those public services are supported and taxpayers are protected".

Carillion had been appointed the contractor to deliver the scheme by the government's then Homes and Communities Agency (which changed to Homes England this month) and was expected to bring hundreds of contractors to the area - providing a knock-on boost for local businesses.

The news came after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn used Prime Minister's Questions to tackle Theresa May over "wildly excessive bonuses" given to Carillion bosses. Carillion also employs about 22,000 workers overseas.

The 200-year-old firm employed 20,000 workers across Britain before banks pulled the plug.

The Government had already assured employees on public sector contracts they will continue to be paid.

Gavin McGuire, Northern Ireland director of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), commented: "Where we would be, the FMB is based right across the United Kingdom, and we work with 8,500 companies".

"The banks were bailed out when they were in trouble and similar support needs to be given to companies affected by Carillion's collapse".

Mr Corbyn demanded Mrs May end the "costly racket" of private involvement in the public sector and asked why the Government had continued to hand contracts to Carillion even after the debt-laden firm had issued a series of profit warnings.

Mr Clark also told the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) to look into Carillion's accounts.

If the government had adopted such an approach and not given out contracts a few years ago when Balfour Beatty was undergoing a similar crisis, while it was undertaking a significant restructuring of its business, it's highly unlikely the company would be trading today, as the resulting loss of confidence would have exacerbated the company's problems, and probably brought about the very outcome ministers are now wrestling with respect to Carillion. "The contingency plans in place reflect the fact that we have been monitoring Carillion's situation and planning accordingly".

The overdue 669-bed hospital is "two-thirds built" and ministers have reassured staff that it remains a priority, he said.

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