Bobby and Christi Shepherd - Mary Creagh to raise Thomas Cook “failings” in parliament

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh, who supported the family of two Horbury schoolchildren who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday in Corfu, says she will highlight the “failings” of tour operator Thomas Cook in parliament.

Mary Creagh
Mary Creagh

Ms Creagh tabled an early day motion after criticism of how Thomas Cook treated Bobby and Christi Shepherd’s parents and families today.

Bobby, six, and Christi, seven, were found dead in a bungalow in the grounds of a hotel in Corfu in 2006 while they were on a half-term break.

An inquest jury found they were unlawfully killed and that tour operator Thomas Cook, who the holiday was booked with, had “breached its duty of care.”

Ms Creagh said: “Thomas Cook’s treatment of the family has been disgraceful. Harriet Green refused to meet with the family while she was chief executive, and Thomas Cook tried to stop the inquest into the children’s deaths taking place.

“This motion sets out the full facts of their actions. I want to ensure that Thomas Cook never fail another family.The children’s parents, Sharon and Neil now want Thomas Cook and the UK government to lead a Europe-wide campaign for improved carbon monoxide safety.”

Harriet Green, who was chief executive of the firm until last year, said the claim she refused to meet the family was “not true.”

Ms Green has also announced she will donate a third of her seven-million shares, which are currently worth around £10m, to charity.

She said: “I have now reached out to the parents of Bobby and Christi Shepherd.

“On the basis that Thomas Cook are due to give me seven-million shares in July, I have told the parents that I will donate one third of that seven-million to a charity of their choice.”

After the inquest, Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook’s current chief executive, said the company had not handled its relationship with the family well.

He said: “During the past nine years, we failed to show the compassion that we should have shown to the family.”

The company also donated £1.5m children’s charity Unicef last week following the inquest.