Vaux Brewery

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 7:44 pm on 29th April 1999.

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Photo of Mr Derek Foster Mr Derek Foster Chair, Employment Sub-committee 7:44 pm, 29th April 1999

I apologise for not being here at the beginning of the debate, but I was hosting a reception downstairs for 300 people from my old college in Oxford, for which I left Sunderland in 1957.

I congratulate the Government on their speedy and excellent action. They cannot be faulted at all, as they have done everything that has been required. However, as a very small shareholder in the firm, I do not accept that the board has acted in the shareholders' interest. Indeed, it has never put any information before the small shareholders, even though they own at least 15 per cent. of the shares—very nearly the largest tranche of the shares in the company.

I hope that my right hon. Friend will call in the board, and suggest to its members that they have a moral duty to the city of Sunderland—and to the Government, who may have to pick up the bill—to put the facts before the small shareholders so that they can be independently assessed.