Hays Travel has agreed a deal to buy all 555 Thomas Cook stores in the UK, offering hope of work to former staff.

The Official Receiver said Hays, the country’s largest independent travel agent, had already taken on 421 ex-Thomas Cook employees.

They were among 9,000 staff in the UK who lost their jobs when the company collapsed last month – prompting the country’s biggest peacetime repatriation exercise to recover more than 150,000 holidaymakers stranded abroad.

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(c) Sky News 2019: Thomas Cook UK store estate sold to Hays Travel offering hope to ex-staff