ST HELENS North MP Conor McGinn has vowed to fight for constituents who have lost their jobs due to Palmer & Harvey going into administration.

Mr McGinn said that he had been working to "try and salvage something from this desperate situation".

The 90-year-old firm appointed PwC as administrators after "challenging trading conditions" heaped pressure on its cash flow and efforts to revive the business failed to take hold.

The Haydock Palmer & Harvey sites are split between the wholesale business and the vans business.

A spokesman for PwC said that in the wholesale business at Haydock 217 employees had been made redundant, with 35 retained to support the administration.

In the vans business there are 38 employees who have been retained retained while administrators "explore options".

Last week in Parliament, the MP blasted job losses which were caused in his constituency in the run-up to Christmas.

In a statement on his Facebook page, Mr McGinn said that he will continue to "pursue" the issue, saying there are "huge questions" for the company to answer and added that the "priority" is finding alternative employment for those affected.

The MP said: "Over the weekend I’ve been working with the administrators, the trade union USDAW, statutory organisations, local community groups and employers to try and salvage something from this desperate situation.

"We now know that at least 250 jobs will be lost at the Haydock site and there are huge questions for the company to answer about how this situation arose.

"I intend to pursue those questions in Parliament and by whatever other means I can, working with MPs in other areas affected and the trade union movement.

"But the priority at the minute is to try and find alternative employment for those affected as quickly as possible and to make sure they receive their full redundancy and associated entitlements where that applies."

Mr McGinn also said he had contacted the business secretary Greg Clark in a bid to have a "hardship fund" provided for people who have lost their jobs.

He added: "I have written to the business secretary to ask if he can provide a hardship fund for those affected to tide them over from their last pay packet at the end of November to hopefully their next one or at least to help them through the Christmas period.

"This is especially important for those who have worked for the company for under two years and therefore are not eligible for any redundancy pay."

Mr McGinn said: "I have also written to the DWP to ask for any benefits claims by those affected to be expedited so they will receive payments before Christmas.

"If you are an affected worker and need more information, you can contact your union rep, the administrators (who assure me they have written to every employee affected) or, if you are a St Helens North constituent, my office."

An event has been organised to take place in St Helens Town Hall on Thursday (December 7) at 10am, which will have a presentation from the Jobcentre Recruitment Team providing advice and guidance on redundancy rights, financial information, job searching, welfare benefits and other options.

Afterwards, there will also be the opportunity to meet local employers with vacancies.