Libor inquiry gutted of critical MPs

Getting off easy? Mann's exclusion from the committee will lead to relief at Barclays.
Getting off easy? Mann's exclusion from the committee will lead to relief at Barclays.
Ian Dunt By

The two MPs who managed to draw blood from Bob Diamond have been left off the parliamentary Libor inquiry, according to reports.

Tory Andrea Leadsom and Labour MP John Mann have been dropped from the Libor investigation, despite the widespread recognition they received for interrogating the Barclays boss.

"[Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury committee and the Libor inquiry] had already reached his conclusions before he whitewashed Libor scandal," Mann tweeted angrily this morning.

"Because we're too outspoken we've been blocked. Total whitewash."

Branding the development a "total joke", Mann then threatened to start up his own inquiry.

Leadsom may be suffering the reprecussions of her comments after the Diamond session, when she admitted it was "useless" in taking on the bank boss.

She was also criticised by some in her own party when she suggested George Osborne should apologise for linking Ed Balls to the Libor scandal.

The Treasury committee members who will sit on the Libor inquiry are understood to be John Thurso, Andrew Love, Pat McFadden and Mark Garnier.

Michael Fallon and Jessie Norman - both of whom have extensive experience of the banking sector - were also left out.

The prime minister's spokesman insisted all three main parties had agreed on the membership list.

"The membership of the committee is something for the political parties and they have agreed between themselves who can serve," he said.

Some of the MPs on the Libor inquiry - such as Love - were widely criticised for their inability to forensically question the Barclays boss or critically appraise his evidence.

Others performed relatively well, but the exclusion of the two most effective MPs will lead to questions about the inquiry's ability to get to the bottom of the scandal.

Leadsom, a former banker, was able to ask detailed questions about the culture and practise of the bank when it 'lowballed' its Libor rating.

Mann's bombastic, aggressive approach made Diamond visibly uncomfortable.

Among his several attacks on on the bank boss, he told him: "Either you were complicit in what was going on, or you were grossly negligent, or you were grossly incompetent."

In a more encouraging sign, No.10 confirmed counsel wold be allowed to examine witnesses", allowing MPs and QCs to work in tandem.


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