Insolvency protection move delayed.

A Tory bid to secure legal protection for insolvency practitioners supervising moratoriums has been briefly postponed after repeated attacks on accountants and allied professionals.

Shadow trade minister Richard Page said that nominees should have a right to apply to the courts for protection to meet the threat that creditors, directors and members of the company might challenge his acts.

But he said he was delaying further debate until the report stage when MPs have a chance to reconsider making changes to the government’s Insolvency Bill and debate further alterations.

The issue emerged at the start of committee debates on details of the proposed legislation, when Great Grimsby Labour MP Austin Mitchell referred to an article in Accountancy Age warning that MPs on the committee are on course for an ‘Insolvency Bill clash’.

Mitchell said the article predicted there would be amendments to the Bill – delayed for months in the Lords – over ‘serious concerns’ among insolvency practitioners, quoting a partner at Moon Beever warning that the way could be open for action by creditors against practitioners if they felt voluntary arrangements were issued without adequate funds or care.

Mitchell protested: ‘That shows a concern for vested interests.’

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