City Labour MP John Denham yesterday wrote to the Ports Minister challenging Liverpool’s plans to start turnaround cruise sailings in a few days time.
In a letter to Mike Penning, Mr Denham said that while the Government has clearly signalled its intention to remove the restrictions on Liverpool if £8million of taxpayers’ money is repaid, the grant conditions will not be removed until there are state aid clearances from Brussels.
In the letter, Mr Denham writes:
‘Can you confirm that, as of today, the grant conditions have not been lifted and that the existing restrictions on the Liverpool Cruise Terminal remain in place? Can you also confirm that until such as date as the grant conditions have been removed, Liverpool would not entitled to change the use of the terminal.
‘Given the well publicised intention of Liverpool to being turnaround cruise sailings from the end of this month it is clearly urgent that you clarify the current position and what steps the Government will take to ensure that the grant conditions are enforced?’
John Denham told reporters:
“I think Liverpool may be jumping the gun starting new sailings so quickly and taking EU approval for granted. It’s important that the laws on fair competition are upheld”