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For 178 years it was a stalwart of the high street, the oldest travel company in the world.
But last night Thomas Cook’s sad, slow demise was complete. At around 2am the company finally collapsed into administration, leaving 150,000 British holidaymakers stranded and 9,000 jobs at risk.
The government says it didn’t bail out the firm because it wouldn’t have been a good use of taxpayers’ money.
The biggest peacetime repatriation will, however, cost £100 million. Company executives are being urged to repay their bonuses.