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The crisis at Carillion looks set to deepen after it emerged that lenders to the construction giant effectively rejected a rescue plan proposed by the debt-laden group.

The government, the Pensions Regulator and representatives from the firm held crunch talks to discuss the firm's options on Friday.

Carillion is a major supplier to the Government and key contractor in the first phase of building the £56 billion HS2 rail line, but has seen its share price plunge almost 80% in the past six months after making a string of profit warnings and breaching its financial covenants.

With administrators now on standby, fears have been raised over the future of major Scottish infrastructure projects involving the construction giant. It employs 43,000 people globally.

It also maintains 50,000 homes for the Ministry of Defence, manages almost 900 schools and manages highways and prisons.

The company provides vital services to hundreds of schools.

"Handing Carillion bosses a blank cheque bail-out is completely unacceptable", Ms Azam said, adding that the company had an "abysmal" track record on protecting workers.

These include a new £745 million Aberdeen bypass and plans to extend platforms at Edinburgh Waverley station to make way for longer electric trains.

A Government spokeswoman said: "As Carillion is a major supplier to Government it should come as no surprise that we are carefully monitoring the situation while working to ensure our contingency plans are robust".

The FT reported that Cabinet Office minister David Lidington met more than 10 ministers on Wednesday including business secretary Greg Clark, transport minister Jo Johnson, and chief secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss.

Carillion also has major contracts to supply facilities management at 83 military sites in Scotland, as well as a 28-year contract managing the "elderly beds facility" at Glasgow's Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Last week, the company was dealt a fresh blow when the City watchdog launched a probe into the "timeliness and content" of statements it made to the‎ stock market about is financial position between December 2016 and July previous year, when a massive profit warning sent its shares crashing by 75%.

"We are committed to maintaining a healthy supplier market and work closely with our key suppliers".

The firm has seen its share price plunge almost 80 per cent in the past six months after making a string of profit warnings and breaching its financial covenants.

They added: "The PPF is aware of the discussions between the company, government and banks and, along with the trustees and TPR, will act as it always does to protect the interests of Carillion scheme members and levy-payers".

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail, said: "The government must consider all options while the future of Carillion hangs in the balance, including bringing contracts back in-house".

"We will not comment further unless it becomes appropriate to do so".