Press Report : Mandelson denies HMG interference in JLR

Jonathan Walker, Birmingham Post, 15th July, 2009

Peter Mandelson denies government interference
Peter Mandelson denies Government interference

The Government has never tried to interfere in the management of Jaguar Land Rover, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has insisted. He denied claims that attempts to impose a Government-approved chairman had blocked efforts to rescue the West Midlands-based firm.

Lord Mandelson has come under fire for launching a high-profile scheme to help firms such as JLR obtain credit, which has failed to help a single business in the seven months since it began.

In April, the Government announced it had agreed guarantees allowing JLR to borrow £340 million from the European bank but the money failed to emerge, amid reports that Ministers had made a series of unreasonable demands. It was claimed that Ministers had imposed conditions that Jaguar’s Indian owners Tata could not accept, such as the right to choose JLR’s Chairman and have a seat on the board.

However, speaking to journalists in Westminster, Lord Mandelson insisted this wasn’t true. He said: “It is not about getting involved in the running of the company. We do not want to have a say in who the Chairman is, who sits on the Jaguar board, or who the Chief Executive is but we do need to be confident that the taxpayers’ money that goes into Jaguar will come back out again – that the taxpayer won’t be left high and dry.”

Tata Group was responsible for restructuring its business, he said.

[Source: Birmingham Post]

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.

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