MG Rover inquiry to be published on Friday


Local people have waited over four years for the MG Rover Inquiry to be completed. I have always supported publication of its findings. That will finally be happening on Friday.

Like most other people, I have found it frustrating that the inquiry has taken so long and astonishing that it has cost around £16m. Lessons should be learnt from this about the conduct of future Companies Act investigations.

I just hope – having taken so long and cost that much – this inquiry provides some answers about the events that led up to the collapse of MG Rover back in 2005. It is important for public accountability that this happens and it is important to allow former MG Rover workers, and the people of South West Birmingham, to draw a line under all of this and move on.

I hope the publication of this report will also bring faster movement in getting money into the Trust Fund for workers who lost their jobs – as the Directors of Phoenix Venture Holdings promised back in 2005. Just last week I received a letter from the Phoenix non executive director Nigel Petrie telling me that although he and his colleagues want to move ahead with this, company wind up procedures mean that getting money into the fund could still take several more months. My appeal to them is to get on with it as quickly as possible. Their former employees deserve no less.

Drawing a line under the past should not mean forgetting the massive contribution which Longbridge made to motor manufacturing in Birmingham for a hundred years. It was the home of the mini and so many other iconic cars. That is not a heritage to be ashamed of. Celebrating that heritage today means looking to the future. With the new MG Motor company on site, car making can still be part of Longbridge’s future – but it can also be a centre for innovation well beyond the automotive industry. A major redevelopment of the Longbridge site is underway and it is important that everyone gets behind it to provide the jobs and opportunities that local people deserve now and in the future.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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