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Crossrail chief executive slams blacklisting

Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme has slammed blacklisting in the construction industry as “indefensible and shameful”.

Mr Wolstenholme told CN he has written confirmation from all tier one suppliers that they have not used blacklisting on the Crossrail project.

He said: “I have assurance from all of my first-tier suppliers [blacklisting] is not part of how they operate, it is not something they have done and it is not a part of Crossrail.

“I look back at 2009/10, [it was an] indefensible, shameful moment of UK construction. I don’t want to be part of it, it is not a part of how Crossrail operates.

“If there is any evidence, I will take this very seriously, but there is no evidence, therefore I can’t react. People absolutely understand the position I would take.”

Crossrail contractors have been told that evidence of blacklisting would result in an immediate breach of contract as well as being a criminal offence. Crossrail has also drawn up a code of practice for contractors on their existing contractual requirements.

Crossrail has denied that blacklisting has taken place on the £14.8bn project. Former blacklist boss Ian Kerr claimed in evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee investigation on blacklisting in November that “there was a lot of discussion at meetings [of The Consulting Association] about Crossrail because there was a perception that it was going to be a problematic contract”.

Meanwhile Balfour Beatty Constuction Services UK chief executive Mike Peasland will give evidence in front of the committee on Tuesday.

Skanska’s executive vice-president for human resources Harvey Francis told the committee yesterday that the firm had consulted former blacklisting body The Consulting Association 66,000 times between 2005 and 2009.

Sir Robert McAlpine’s non-executive director Cullum McAlpine revealed the contractor used The Consulting Association when working on the Olympic Park in evidence in front of the committee in January.

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