WEAVER Vale MP Mike Amesbury quizzed the Transport Secretary in the House of Commons over the collapse of travel company Thomas Cook.

MPs called on the Government to take action against directors and legislate to improve the travel industry.

Labour MP Mr Amesbury addressed the House saying: “Penny Jepson has lost her job after working for Thomas Cook for 16 years—one of 9,000 people.

“She is concerned about the inept response from the Government. It is costing an absolute fortune to repatriate people. Why not simply invest in this company via a bridging loan?”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps replied: “I know the hon. Gentleman has heard this answer before, but Governments are not about running travel companies, obviously.

“ If there was any way in which we thought a short-term guarantee or loan would have kept the company going, it would have been a serious prospect, but I am afraid that there was never a serious plan brought to us on that front.”

The majority of Thomas Cook air crew members who were abroad when the company collapsed have been returned home, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said.

In an update on efforts to bring more than 150,000 people back to the UK, the CAA said more than 150 Thomas Cook crew had been brought home.

The CAA said 71 flights had operated last Wednesday, bringing back around 17,000 passengers.

Over the course of three days of its operation, part of the largest peacetime repatriation, the CAA said 46,000 people had successfully flown home, around 30% of total holidaymakers.

The CAA said of those heading back to the UK, 95% flew back on the day of their original Thomas Cook flight.

The CAA’s flight programme is due to continue until October 6 with more than 1,000 flights planned in total.

Labour’s Clive Betts also asked Mr Shapps to “guarantee” there would be a Bill reforming the travel industry in the Queen’s Speech.

About 9,000 staff in the UK face redundancy.