» Friday, September 11, 2009

MG Rover

Asked what Lord Mandelson would be saying about the report on MG Rover, the PMS said that Lord Mandelson had already made some official comments; it had been a painstaking enquiry, with independent inspectors. Lord Mandelson was looking at what action should be taken, particularly in relation to the relevant directors, and had also written to the Business Enterprise Select Committee to ask them to look into the serious findings of the report. This was a significant and complex report and Lord Mandelson would be taking about it further later on today.

Asked what the Prime Minister’s involvement in the report had been, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had been briefed on the contents of the report; he had not given evidence, but had kept a close eye on it.

Asked if the Prime Minister felt any sympathy towards the Rover workers who appeared to have been treated badly and if he would issue a statement, the PMS said that at this point he was unable to give out any words from the Prime Minister, as he had not spoken to him about this specific point. If a statement were to go out the PMS would let people know.

Put that the directors had claimed that it was the Prime Minister and Baroness Vadera’s handling of the issue that caused problems for the possible takeover, the PMS said that he had not seen the directors’ exact words, but it was his understanding that Baroness Vadera’s role in the Treasury was to provide advice on the viability of the deal with the Chinese and the risk of value for money in the event that the Government provided support. More detail could be found in the report.

Put that there had been criticism at the time about the way the story was spun to the press when the rescue was being discussed, the PMS said that the report said that “we had no doubt that MGRG would in the event have gone into administration April 2005, with or without the press reports of the period”.

Put that the leaking of reports to the press had been irresponsible, the PMS said that the important thing was that the Government had cooperated fully as a witness to this inspection and all the relevant internal documentation had been made available.

Asked if, in the light of the criticism, the Prime Minister had anything to say about the standards of Special Advisors, the PMS said that the Prime Minister always expected high standards from Special Advisors.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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