New Millennium Experience Company: Chairman

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:17 pm on 24th May 2000.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord MacKay of Ardbrecknish Lord MacKay of Ardbrecknish Crossbench 3:17 pm, 24th May 2000

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble and learned Lord for answering this PNQ. However, would it not have been better if the Government had volunteered a Statement on these important developments? Does the noble and learned Lord recall the words of Oscar Wilde:

"To lose one parent ... may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness"?

Are the events at the Dome carelessness or incompetence? First, the chief executive, Jennie Page; now the Blair-blessed chairman, Bob Ayling; who is next? Does the buck ever stop at a Minister? And is it the case that Michael Connor, the accounting officer for the Millennium Commissioners, requested a formal letter of direction from the Minister, Chris Smith, before he would agree to release the latest tranche of £29 million, and that Chris Smith ordered his Permanent Secretary, Robin Young, to write such a letter? If that is true, is it not the case that this is a fiasco which is rapidly becoming a scandal?