UK says bailing out Thomas Cook would have thrown 'good money after bad'

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State for Business Andrea Leadsom walks outside 10 Downing Street in London, Britain September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government decided there was no point bailing out Thomas Cook as it would have been a waste of taxpayers’ money to throw good money into a business that was not meeting the needs of its customers, the business minister said on Tuesday.

“There are all sorts of rumors flying, the fact is that 200 million was even an underestimate of what Thomas Cook would have needed just for the very short term, for the next week or two,” Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom told Sky News.

“Thomas Cook is sitting on trying to service 1.7 billion pounds of debt, and it would have been a waste of taxpayers’ money to be throwing good money after bad,” she said.

Leadsom said she had asked the insolvency service to bring forward their inquiry into the directors and the events leading up to the collapse, “just to make sure whether there has been in fact any wrongdoing, anything that could have been done differently that could have averted this disaster.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Paul Sandle; editing by James Davey