MG Rover report debated in Parliament


Earlier today I led a House of Commons debate on the results of the independent inquiry into the collapse of MG Rover.

Today’s debate was the first opportunity for the House of Commons to debate the report of the inquiry since it was published on 11 September 2009.

I used the debate to raise various issues including:

  • The contents of the report and its criticisms of the Phoenix Directors
  • The report’s assertion that misleading answers were given by the Phoenix Directors to Mr Burden and the Trade and Industry Select Committee
  • The trust fund which the Phoenix Directors promised to establish for former employees
  • The wind-up of the company MGR Capital and how its proceeds could be used to leave a positive legacy at Longbridge
  • The cost of the inquiry and the length of time it took to complete

This is a damning report for the Phoenix Directors. All too often, the picture that emerges is of millions being made not from the engineering of cars but from the engineering of company finances.

In the debate today I highlighted some of the report’s findings and I called on the Phoenix Four to answer the allegations against them – in public and on the record.

But my main objective was to focus on the unfinished business where it is not simply a case of shutting doors after horses have bolted. Like ending the delay in putting money into the trust fund which the Directors promised they would set up for former employees. Like pressing for the millions which we believe still remain within MGR Capital to be reinvested in this trust fund for and into a community development trust to give local people a direct stake in the redevelopment of the Longbridge area.

Today’s debate was one more opportunity to push for all of these. I am pleased that the Business Minister said the government would do what it can to take these things forward.

You can read a copy of the debate online here.

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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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