But government is expected to emerge relatively unscathed
8 September 2009

The report into the collapse of MG Rover will highlight ‘questionable’ practices by the directors of the business, but does not criticise the conduct of the government, according to newspaper reports.

The report will be published this Friday, after the Serious Fraud Office decided not to pursue a fraud investigation into the demise of the carmaker in 2005.

The report is said to make 'uncomfortable reading' for the government, especially over what happened to a £100 million bridging loan designed to rescue MG Rover.

However, it also suggests that Labour did try to save the car maker and there was no deliberate plan to pull the plug on the business.

The report, which has cost the taxpayer £16.3m and has taken four years to compile, contains numerous details of complex financial transactions.

However, the SFO has said that there is no evidence of fraud after analysing the 850 pages and two volumes that make-up the report, which examines the events leading up to the collapse of the car company.

Even so, business secretary Lord Mandelson is believed to be consulting lawyers about banning the so-called Phoenix Four - John Towers, Nick Stephenson, Peter Beale and John Edwards - who bought MG Rover in 2000, from being company directors again.

Mandelson is expected to make a statement when the report is published.

The Financial Reporting Review Panel will also publish its own report into MG Rover on Friday.

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