Nigel Farage calls for Brexit vote to be honoured after P&O job cuts: 'This happened to Irish workers in 2005!'

The ferry company sacked 800 staff with immediate effect via video message last week

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Nigel Farage has called on the Brexit vote to be honoured after calling the recent P&O job cuts a “disgrace”.

The ferry company sacked 800 staff with immediate effect via video message last week, a move which has been slammed.

Boris Johnson said on Wedneseday that the Government would be taking legal action against the firm, adding that it looks like they broke the law in the sackings.

"It looks to me as though the company concerned has broken the law, and we will be taking action and we will be encouraging workers themselves to take action under the 1996 Employment Rights Act," he told Parliament.

Mr Farage has also hit out at P&O's decision, referring back to an incident when Irish ferries asked 643 of its staff to take voluntary redundancy back in 2005.

The former Brexit Party leader said live on GB News: “It’s perfectly clear that under UK employment law he should have consulted with the unions, he didn’t and it’s done.

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage
P&O chief executive, Peter Hebblethwaite
P&O chief executive, Peter Hebblethwaite

“But the idea in Brexit Britain (that) British workers should be undercut in this way by foreign workers is a disgrace.

“This happened to Irish ferry companies back in 2005 when Irish workers were sacked and replaced by cheap foreign labour.

“We need to do something to honour the pledge to the British people under the Brexit vote that this cannot go on.”

Meanwhile, P&O chief executive, Peter Hebblethwaite appeared in front of the Transport Committee and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee in the House of Commons on Thursday.

Asked if he had increased or decreased the value of the company by his actions, Mr Hebblethwaite said: “I think that P&O was otherwise going to close, and didn’t have a future.”

Questioned on whether he would accept a performance-related bonus if his employers were “mad enough” to offer one, Mr Hebblethwaite said: “I can’t tell you how far that is from my thoughts.

“I don’t know the answer to that. I’ve got to be honest I’m not focussed on that, I’m focussed on saving the business and getting the 800 seafarers new jobs.”

Mr Hebblethwaite said he wanted to apologise.

He said: “An apology to seafarers that were affected on Thursday of last week, an apology to their families, an apology to the 2,200 of our employees who have had to face very difficult questions over the last week or so."