Archive : Hatchet Job By Sir Don

By David Thompson

Two British Leyland chiefs talked yesterday of Sir Don. Ryder’s “hatchet job” on their management. One of them, managing director John Barber, admitted for the first time that it was Sir Don who told him he was sacked. The other chairman Lord Stokes, was asked three times if a hatchet job -followed failure by the City to provide enough cash to keep the car giant going.

Finally he told the Commons subcommittee which is probing the motor industry: “All right, yes , if you put it that way. But I have reservations.”

Mr Barber, who is to be replaced by Mr Alex Park, said when he was asked the same question: ” I do not know what a hatchet job is. All I do know is that Sir Don Ryder and Mr Tony Benn saw me in the Minister’s office and told me that there would not be a place for me in the new company.”

It was Sir Don—the Government industrial adviser, who masterminded the shake-up of British Leyland — who gave him the news, he said. Scottish Nationalist M P Hamish Watt told Mr Barber of a story which finished: “Sir, you may be hanging the wrong man.”

He asked: “Could it be now that we might re-write this to Ryder, you may be hanging the wrong man’?” Mr Barber replied: “I cannot give an impartial answer to that.”

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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