Press Report : Mandelson questions Phoenix Four’s fitness to act as Directors

Jon Griffin, Birmingham Post, 13th August, 2009

The row between former MG Rover Directors and Lord Mandelson has escalated amid claims the ex-Longbridge bosses could face disqualification as Directors.

The Business Secretary appeared to jump the gun yesterday by questioning the fitness of the Phoenix Four – John Towers, Nick Stephenson, John Edwards and Peter Beale – to act as Directors in future.

His comments, ahead of publication of the Government report into MG Rover, triggered an angry response from the executives, who were told yesterday that the Serious Fraud Office would not be undertaking a full inquiry into the collapse of Longbridge.

People are more likely to ask if Mandelson and some of his colleagues are fit to conduct themselves as Ministers. After all, this is a man who had to resign twice from the Government in very mysterious circumstances.” The Phoenix Four’s spokesman

The SFO decision finally clears the path for publication on September 11 of the long awaited report into the demise of the car firm, launched four years ago at a cost of £16 million to taxpayers.

The prospect of disqualification for the Phoenix Four emerged after a Department for Business spokesman said: “The Secretary of State has been advised that there are good grounds to bring disqualification proceedings. These would be civil rather than criminal proceedings.”

A spokesman for the Phoenix Four said: “People are more likely to ask if Mandelson and some of his colleagues are fit to conduct themselves as Ministers. After all, this is a man who had to resign twice from the Government in very mysterious circumstances.”

[Source: Birmingham Post]

Clive Goldthorp

Clive Goldthorp

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.
Clive Goldthorp
Posted in: AROnline News, MG Rover
Clive Goldthorp

About the Author:

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

Have your say...