And the bill for four-year inquiry is still rising

The inquiry into the collapse of MG Rover has taken almost four years and cost taxpayers more than £14.8m so far, according to a new report.

The Financial Times newspaper says government ministers are embarrassed by the escalating cost of investigating Rover’s demise, at a time when the beleaguered UK car industry is lobbying for taxpayer cash to survive.

MG Rover went into administration in April 2005 with the loss of about 6000 jobs.

Ministers promised a "speedy" investigation, saying it would take no more than 18 months.

The independent investigation has been led by Gervase MacGregor, a senior partner at BDO Stoy Hayward, the forensic accountancy firm, and Guy Newey QC, an insolvency law specialist,

Fees paid to the inspectors by the end of February totalled £12.2m, with expenses and value added tax taking the total bill to the state to £14.8m, according to official figures.

MG Rover’s ownership by the Phoenix Partnership – the contentious period under investigation – lasted five years.

No date has been set for the completion of the investigation.

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