Reacting to the news that Thomas Cook is to close its Bradford operations centre and throw 468 people on the dole, Bradford West MP George Galloway accused the company of a 'heartless disregard' of the people and families involved.

'Once more we see a company put profit before people. There has been no consultation, just P45s all round. It's disgraceful,' the MP said. He called on the company, 'even at this late stage', to get round the table with local MPs, politicians and unions to save the jobs.

'Like any other company Cook has suffered through this shameful government's austerity programme. The economy needs growth, not retraction like this,' he continued. He pointed out that Bradford West had suffered the highest year-on-year increase of any of the country's 650 constituencies - almost 30% - and that more than one-in-five families were in fuel poverty. 'We need urgent action from the government to save these jobs and to grow the economy rather than stifle it. I am challenging David Cameron and George Osborne, the real people ultimately responsible for this tragedy, to come here to face the people and tell them why their job losses - and all the others suffered in the last year - are helping build the economy.'