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Thomas Cook directors are being investigated over their role in the company’s collapse.

Business secretary Andrea Leadsom has requested the official receiver managing the tour operator’s liquidation to investigate whether or not their actions “caused detriment to creditors or to the pension schemes”.

The company’s most senior directors took home a combined £20 million in salary and bonuses since 2014, despite its consistent financial troubles.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also weighed in on the situation, questioning whether directors should pay themselves “large sums of money” while the business goes “down the tubes”.

“I think the questions we’ve got to ask ourselves now [are]: How can this thing be stopped from happening in the future?

“How can we make sure that tour operators take proper precautions with their business models where you don’t end up with a situation where the taxpayer, the state, is having to step in and bring people home?”

In a letter to the Insolvency Service, Andrea Leadsom said: “I ask that the investigation by the official receiver looks, not only at the conduct of directors immediately prior to and at insolvency, but also at whether any action by directors has caused detriment to creditors or to the pension schemes.”

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Thomas Cook’s directors should pay back any bonuses they have received in recent years. He told the BBC: “I think they need to really examine their own consciences about how they’ve brought this about and how they themselves have exploited the situation.”

 

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