Jarvis has pulled out of the race to build a private finance initiative headquarters for the Home Office just two weeks after new bid documents were issued by the department.

The Home Office confirmed that only two of the three consortia had responded. It said the Bovis consortium and the Mace/Godfrey Bradman group had replied to the invitation to submit further proposals.

One Jarvis insider said that, even if the company submitted a proposal, it would be hard to justify the deal to MPs on the Public Accounts Committee. He therefore thought the deal might fall through.

The source said Jarvis was leaving its original bid for the refurbishment of the Home Office’s current headquarters at Queen Anne’s Gate with the Home Office. “You never know, they might come back to it later,” he said.

The project has been plagued by controversy. The original scheme called for the £60m refurbishment of the Queen Anne’s Gate headquarters, and tenders were invited on this basis.

Then developer Godfrey Bradman put in an audacious bid to move the headquarters to Marsham Street and build a £140m new-build headquarters there.

The Home Office was keen on this proposal and asked bidders to rebid for a new building. It agreed to pay compensation for work on previous bids.