The confusion surrounding McLaren’s bid to take over the contracts of Verry Construction grew this week

Earlier this month it was announced that the Essex-based firm may be about to take over more than 10 of Verry’s unfinished projects.

It is thought McLaren then narrowed its focus to just three jobs: the £67.7m City of Westminster college in London, the £13m humanities centre for Queen Mary College in London and a Kent Building Schools for the Future contract.

This plan received a setback this week when the Queen Mary contract went back out to tender.

And although McLaren is believed to be close to buying the Westminster deal, pen had not been put to paper as Building went to press.

Craig is still keen to take over certain elements of the business

Source close to sale

Despite the uncertainty, it is understood that the crane team, concrete contractor John Doyle and a skeleton McLaren crew are on site at Westminster in anticipation of a deal.

The picture was further clouded by news that Craig Jones, the former chief executive of William Verry, is still interested in taking over parts of the business. Jones, who declined to comment, was reportedly banished from the business by chairman John Gibson in February after a row over money transferred to other companies in the William Verry Holdings group.

A source close to the sale said: “Craig is still keen to take over certain elements of the business.”

It is understood that another of Verry’s schemes, the £80m Oaklands College in St Albans, will be taken over by Oxford-based contractor Leadbitter.