By Marcus Leach

Having missed out on the Thameslink project to German company Siemens, staff from Bombardier are to lobby MPs over job losses.

The £1.4 billion contract was controversially awarded to Siemens, sparking mass criticism for the government for not supporting British industry. As a result Bombardier announced over 1,400 jobs would be cut.

Despite staff and supporters of Bombardier protesting outside of Westminster, government officials said they were bound by bidding rules and could not reverse the decision.

Further to this the Shadow Transport Secretary has written to the government demanding further action to support train building in the UK - which could face a battle to survive after this decision.

"The future of the industry hangs in the balance," Maria Eagle told Transport Secretary Philip Hammond having seen Bombardier lose out to their German rivals.

"Your failure to recognise the consequences of this decision to the UK train manufacturing industry has now placed its future in jeopardy."

In response a Department for Transport spokesman said:

"This procurement was set up and designed by the previous government and we are legally bound by the criteria set out at the beginning of that process.

"Looking to the future, however, the government is interested in the possibility of upgrading the existing fleet of diesel Cross Country Voyager trains by adding an additional carriage with a pantograph, which could safeguard jobs at Bombardier."

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