More help for SFO

She told MPs during a Commons Questions session: ‘I am glad the chancellor of the exchequer is on the Government front bench to hear about the importance of the SFO’s work and the need to expand it. I am sure he will take these matters seriously.’

Harman said it was essential to go after large-scale white collar crime ‘so that we do not have a situation where the richer people are, the more likely they are to get away with it.

‘In that respect the SFO is a bit like David facing Goliath.’

She said some cases involve specialist legal and accountancy work that ranges across different jurisdictions, handling defendants and witnesses in different countries and having to translate documents.

She declared: ‘We will not allow big, international fraudsters to get away with their activities by crossing jurisdictions.’

She ignored the comment by Rhondda Labour MP Chris Bryant who expressed the hope ‘that Mr Ernest Saunders, formerly of Guinness, is helping the NHS with a special research project into miraculous cures for pre senile dementia.’

Related reading