25 Nov 2009

Darling: Lloyds’ directors knew about secret loans

The sting has been taken out of the £60bn secret loan story. Alistair Darling just told the Commons that Lloyds’ directors knew all about the secret loans before starting its attempt to take over HBOS.

That was where the story threatened to go – insider dealing and lack of disclosure on the part of the government, which encouraged the Lloyds takeover of HBOS.

So, amazingly, given the risks and near death horrors revealed by this story, this statement by the Chancellor has calmed things down.

But that doesn’t mean the Chancellor came to the Commons willingly. He was summoned to do this by an increasingly active Speaker.

The Speaker has lately been summoning a lot of reluctant ministers to answer questions they don’t want to hear in the Commons.

There have been eight ministers dragged to the Commons in the last seven weeks. Today nearly made it a ninth.

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