Transport secretary says P&O boss should resign

Transport secretary says P&O boss should resign

The transport secretary has said the P&O boss, who announced over 800 sackings last week, should resign.

Grant Shapps called for chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite to step down after he admitted to MPs that he broke the law.

He said would make the same decision again if he had to.

“I think he should go,” Mr. Shapps told BBC Breakfast.

“The idea that you come to parliament and you admit that you deliberately set out to break the laws to sack your staff and bring in below minimum wage people and that you’ll buy off the staff to do that is quite simply unacceptable,” he said.

“They’ve exploited loopholes, they’ve been completely disgraceful and I’m clear that is no way to behave and not the right individual to have at the top of a British business.”

He said the government would bring in measures next week to ‘force P&O Ferries into a U-turn to re-employ staff on at least minimum wage.’.

“We’re simply going to make sure that these loopholes that they’ve very, very creatively, and rather evilly exploited, are closed in lots of different ways so they can’t find a way around them,” he said.

Mr. Shapps admitted it “can’t directly” revoke P&O’s license.

“There is a whole load of other things happening including letters going out to the ports from which they sail, then, as I mentioned, different types of legislation will be forthcoming, so we are going to make sure P&O have to U-turn on this.”

Mr. Hebblethwaite was questioned by the Transport Committee on Thursday.

Mr. Shapps told Radio 4’s Today programme: “What they’ve done is try to pay off, or attempt to pay off, their staff with higher redundancy payments…and therefore buy their silence and we cannot have a situation where laws are being creatively used and abused in this case.”

Several MPs failed to vote in the action against P&O.

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Jack joined the Gi team in January 2022.