Lord Stoneham defends Goodwin disclosure

The Liberal Democrat peer who disclosed that former Royal Bank of Scotland chief Sir Fred Goodwin had a relationship with a senior colleague defended his action last night.

Using Parliamentary privilege, Lord Stoneham of Droxford told peers last Thursday:

Every taxpayer has a direct public interest in the events leading up to the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland, so how can it be right for a super-injunction to hide the alleged relationship between Sir Fred Goodwin and a senior colleague?

If true, it would be a serious breach of corporate governance and not even the Financial Services Authority would be allowed to know about it.

Speaking in the Lords last night, Lord Stoneham defended his action:

The issue I raised last Thursday was part of a long-standing commitment by Lord Oakeshott to ensure that the Financial Services Authority publishes a full report on the reasons for the collapse of RBS. I believe the FSA has now agreed to include the matter in their inquiry.

Responding to the Government’s statement on privacy injunctions, Lord Stoneham went on:

How are the courts going to ensure that the public interest is protected and considered when injunctions are being requested?

How will statutory bodies, such as the FSA, be able to investigate when corporate governance procedures may be being breached but the information about this is restricted?

Advocate General Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC replied:

It would not be proper for me to comment on any one particular case. If there is an issue of more general importance, then I am sure that it will be possible for these particular concerns to be fed into the work of the Joint Committee.

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2 Comments

  • How could this issue NOT be in the public interrest?? Lord Stoneham is not sensation seeking here. In supporting Lord Oakskshott he is on the side of a residual Lib Dem Parliamentarian of whom we can be proud!!

  • This and Hemming’s burblings are distinct. Stoneham is far more likely to have seen the legal decision – not to mention know what a super-injunction is and is not – and the matters of whether that banker (am I going to get sued) Goodwin had his mind on the actual task of avoiding a financial catastrophe rather than keeping details of where he put his cash register secret [Ed. that’s enough sexual inneundo].

    ~alec

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