Mayor Palmer urges ‘support and clarity’ for those affected by closure of Thomas Cook

Mayor James Palmer has begun talks with the Government over what can be done to support both custome

Mayor James Palmer has begun talks with the Government over what can be done to support both customers and staff of Thomas Cook. The travel agent has gone into liquidation and £100m will now be spent on bringing its customers back to the UK. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Mayor James Palmer said today it was important to offer “support and clarity” as quickly as possible to those affected by the Thomas Cook liquidation.

Mayor Palmer, who heads the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CAPCA), said: "I will be working to support a cross-Government taskforce, including the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to provide any support I can at this very worrying time.

"I am in regular contact with Government on this, and what's important now is that we can offer support and clarity to those affected as rapidly as possible."

Mayor Palmer described the collapse as "dreadful news for all concerned and my first thoughts are with the Thomas Cook employees based in Peterborough and elsewhere.

"This is clearly a developing situation, and the immediate impacts of all those affected are continuing to be assessed."

He said he had "been in conversations" today with the DWP and BEIS to establish how, as far as possible, the impacts can be minimised.

"I have been assured the Government is fully committed to supporting employees affected by the collapse and also I'm aware that Government is providing employees with advice on the situation this morning," he said.

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In the UK's biggest ever peacetime repatriation effort the programme, named Operation Matterhorn, is under way to bring home 150,000 customers of the collapsed travel operator back to the UK.

Operation Matterhorn is expected to cost £100m but the real impact will be felt in coming months as thousands of workers try to find new job and those booked with Thomas Cook try to find alternative holidays and flights.