Another Labour cover up

Mandelson has called in the Serious Fraud Office to investigate potential criminal action leading to the collapse of MG Rover before the 2005 general election. This has enabled Mandelson to claim that he cannot publish the report now for legal reasons.

A report was due to be published this month after four years of deliberation and was expected to show that Labour “wasted £6 million propping up the car company”, only for it to collapse anyway, weeks later, with a loss of 6,300 jobs.

The regulatory Financial Reporting Council was to investigate Phoenix Venture Holdings’s use of £450 million acquired when it took over from BMW a few years earlier.

There were mumblings of asset stripping perpetrated by the directors at the time. Now, we have to wonder if that wasn’t all spin put out by Labour as they revert time and again to the same old tactics that worked for them previously.

According to the Times:

“The former directors of MG Rover – John Towers, Peter Beale, Nick Stephenson and John Edwards, known as the Phoenix Four – have reacted with fury. They claim they kept MG Rover afloat for five years and did everything possible to secure its future.

“They said workers who lost their jobs deserved to know why ministers withdrew a £100m bridging loan at the last minute. “Four years and £16m of taxpayers’ money have been swallowed up on this inquiry, and the directors’ major concern is that it will fail to get to the heart of the matter: why the government withdrew its offer of a loan to the company at the 11th hour,” they said in a statement.”

The report had been delayed by Labour until after the 2005 general election, given MG Rover’s location in the Midlands – Labour’s hearlands. Now that its heartlands are under threat, Labour might well to try and pull the same stunt again and delay the report’s publication until after the next general election. In a joint statement, the four said: “Four years on, any suggestion of another further investigation is frankly ridiculous and smacks of kicking this issue into the long grass.”

Vince Cable said: “I welcome the introduction of the fraud squad into what appears to be a major corporate scandal, but it must not be used as a smokescreen to hide what the public needs to know about the use of taxpayers’ money.”

Quite.

Just how many times do they think they are going to get away with these tired old tactics?

Meddleslime is due to make a statement to the House on Monday. What’s the bet he leaks it to the press first – or, more brazenly, drops it into a morning radio or TV chat?

I’d put money on that happening.

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One Response to “Another Labour cover up”

  1. Hipponess Says:

    My bet is the usual round of radio/TV.

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