Press Report : Workers’ fury at MG Rover probe delay

Jon Griffin, Birmingham Post, 6th July, 2009

MG Rover enquiry complete... what will come of it?

MG Rover enquiry complete... Now the SFO are getting interested.

More than 6000 former MG Rover workers have been left “angry and betrayed” amid claims the Government deliberately stalled publication of a long-awaited inquiry report into the collapse of Longbridge. Business Secretary Lord Mandelson today ordered a new fraud investigation into the demise of the car firm dating back to April 2005  but MG Rover Trust Fund member Carl Chinn and ex-workers have launched blistering attacks on New Labour.

The fraud inquiry threatens to derail payments of four-figure sums to thousands of ex-car workers, more than four years after MG Rover crashed with debts of around £1.3 billion. Professor Chinn, one of four MG Rover fund trustees, said: “I am just so upset and so angry. It makes you wonder whether the workers are ever going to get this money.

Workers and their families need the money now. After so many years and having spent so much money on the inquiry, we still can’t help the people we want to help. A lot of workers have exchanged a good job with a long-term future for short-term, temporary low paid work. This simply beggars belief – I just wish that politicians would start to look at their impact on people’s lives.” Professor Carl Chinn, Trustee, MG Rover Trust Fund

“Workers and their families need the money now. After so many years and having spent so much money on the inquiry, we still can’t help the people we want to help. A lot of workers have exchanged a good job with a long-term future for short-term, temporary low paid work. This simply beggars belief – I just wish that politicians would start to look at their impact on people’s lives.”

Former Project Manager at Longbridge Annil Chandra, who worked at the car plant for more than 20 years, said: “This just smacks of gross incompetence by the Government once again.  I rely on contracts from the automotive sector and I have not had a contract since last November. My last contract was with Jaguar Land Rover and they disposed of 950 contract workers just before Christmas.

“The former workers at Longbridge feel angry and betrayed after all these years. Politicians just blow hot and cold to suit the needs of the moment. There are a lot of former Longbridge workers still struggling in low paid jobs.”

The former workers at Longbridge feel angry and betrayed after all these years. Politicians just blow hot and cold to suit the needs of the moment. There are a lot of former Longbridge workers still struggling in low paid jobs.” Annil Chandra, former Project Manager, MG Rover Group Limited

The new fraud inquiry was confirmed in a written statement to Parliament today by Lord Mandelson, who said: “There has been a comprehensive and thorough investigation into the events which led to the company failing, workers losing their jobs and creditors not getting paid. The SFO must now see if there are grounds for prosecution.”

A Government statement added: “The Inspectors delivered their report on June 11 2009. Following legal advice the Rover Report will not be published at this time in order to ensure any potential prosecution is not prejudiced. The position will be reviewed following the outcome of the SFO’s considerations.”

Northfield MP Richard Burden said: “My constituents – including many former MG Rover workers – and the people in the West Midlands still need to be told the facts about what led to the closure of the company. They have now waited over four years for those answers and they know that £16 million of public money has been spent on the inquiry. It will be a bitter blow for everyone to face the prospect of further delays before they have answers to their questions.”

[Source: Birmingham Post]

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.

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  1. Simon Woodward says:

    Serious questions must be asked now about the role the Government and the DTI played during the last 6 months of Rover and the sale of design rights to the Chinese of K series engine and the Rover 75 for the very low amount of just £49 million!!!! and the total lack of support from New Labour !!!!!!!!!!!

  2. R W Burnett says:

    Now the enqiury is over, will we eventually see the Rover Trust Fund being dished out amongst MGR’s former (redundant) workers? There is £16,000,000 to be distributed between 6000 workers so surely that works out at about £24,000 each worker. Why, then, are the press etc. saying it is only £4,000 to £5,500? That just does not add up. Please can somebody answer this question as I am wondering what is going on here. Thanks.

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