Alistair Darling (Secretary of State, Department for Transport; Edinburgh South West, Labour)
I do not know whether the right hon. and learned Gentleman has read the judgment, but if he has he will know that it was the company itself that was outlining its financial difficulties and the company itself that said there would be questions about whether it could continue as a going concern. It is an important point, even to the remains of the Opposition's discredited case, that throughout 2001 the company was constantly asking itself whether it could continue to trade as a going concern, such was the state of its financial position. The Conservatives' position appears to be that, if only an interim review had been allowed, the regulator would have produced millions of pounds, for which Railtrack had asked earlier in the summer. Money would have to have come from the taxpayer—it could have come from nowhere else—to save the company.