Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Phoenix Four Hit out at Mandelson over 'Witch-Hunt and Whitewash'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Phoenix Four Hit out at Mandelson over 'Witch-Hunt and Whitewash'

Article excerpt

Byline: Hugo Duncan

A bitter slanging match broke out tonight between Lord Mandelson and the Phoenix Four over the collapse of MG rover.

the business Secretary vowed to ban the four men from running companies after an official report found they pocketed tens of millions of pounds during the carmaker's demise.

Lord Mandelson said: "these people feathered their own nests and filled their own pockets full of a lot of cash during the course of their time as directors. it shows real brass neck not to show an ounce of humility or offer an apology."

but the former MG rover directors -- John towers, John edwards, Nick Stephenson and Peter beale -- branded the report "a witch-hunt" and "a whitewash" and accused Mandelson of "political grandstanding".

they said: "the report is entirely as we expected -- a witch-hunt against us and a whitewash for the Government. it drips with the hallmarks of this Government -- spin, smear and point-blank refusal to take any responsibility for their own actions.

"We criticised the Government for failing to help MG rover. As we have seen elsewhere, there is a price to be paid for criticising this Government and for us the price is this report."

the 850-page report cost the taxpayer [pounds sterling]16 million -- far more than the Government spent trying to save MG rover -- and laid bare the shocking state of the finances at the Longbridge carmaker.

the Phoenix Four bought MG rover for just [pounds sterling]10 from bMW in May 2000 and were given a [pounds sterling]427 million loan by the German carmaker.

but over the next five years MG rover racked up losses of [pounds sterling]1 billion and collapsed in April 2005 with debts of [pounds sterling]1.3 billion and the loss of 6500 jobs.

the Phoenix Four blamed the fall of MG rover on the Labour Government's refusal to support it. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.