Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

City Spy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

City Spy

Article excerpt

THE tributes to Lord Hanson, who died this week aged 82, make no mention of one curious episode from his very full life. In 1983, a confidential police report expressed concerns about the buccaneering tycoon's possible links with organised crime in the US. The report was compiled by C11, the old Scotland Yard intelligence division, and detailed his connections with a US casino mogul who was well-known to the authorities both here and there. The report was into the casino owner and describes how a confidential informant tipped off the Drug Enforcement Agency that Hanson's address in Palm Springs was being used as a base for unspecified illegal activities.

Working with the DEA, the London police had established a list of connections between Hanson and US gangland figures.

Scotland Yard was concerned enough to want to investigate further, to clear up the suspicions one way or the other. In the end, it didn't. But for years afterwards, rumours that Hanson kept some dubious company continued to circulate.

CHAOS at the Department of Trade and Industry over research and development grants. Last year, the DTI introduced the Grant for Research and Development, replacing the previous SMART award scheme. In April, it was decided that, rather than simply applying, firms would have to take part in "regional competitions" to get the money. Since the first round of competitions in May this year, only one further contest has been held, on 8 October in the Midlands. So far, just one other competition date has been announced - 12 November 2004 for the North-East. Back in July, the DTI pledged to release new competition dates "as soon as possible".

Businesses are in a bind. "Not only are they in the dark as to when they might find out the results of the regional competitions, they do not even know when the competition might be held in the first place," says Tory Industry spokesman Stephen O'Brien. …

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