THE UK Government is being urged to step in to help save tour operator Thomas Cook from collapsing and leaving thousands of holidaymakers stranded abroad.

The travel company could fall into administration within days unless it finds £200 million to plug a gap in its funding.

Around 150,000 UK holidaymakers would be left stranded if the company went out of business – with the bill for getting them home estimated at £600m.

It is understood Thomas Cook has approached the Government for assistance.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association, which represents workers at the company, said the Government should be ready to assist with “real financial support”.

In a letter, General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: “It is incumbent upon the Government to act if required and save this iconic cornerstone of the British high street and the thousands of jobs that go with it.

“Thomas Cook can be a highly successful business and must be given every opportunity to flourish. I urge you to stand ready to assist Thomas Cook with real financial support.

“The company must be rescued no matter what. No British government in its right mind would countenance the loss of so many jobs and the prospect of just one major travel operator – TUI – controlling the mass market.”

Labour shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey urged the Government to help avoid the crisis.