Reports emerged yesterday that the transport minister had contacted the head of the insolvency arm at Ernst & Young only minutes after the news of the terrorist strikes on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.
Alan Bloom of Ernst & Young told AccountancyAge.com this morning: ‘It didn’t happen. I had no conversation with Stephen Byers that afternoon.’
Transport secretary Byers has also denied any contact with Bloom on 11 September.
Railtrack was forced into administration on 7 October following a request from the board for additional government funding to stave off insolvency. Byers refused the request. E&Y was appointed special railway administrators of Railtrack the same day.
The High Court has appointed Alan Bloom, Chris Hill, Scott Martin and Mike Rollings from the firm jointly as administrators.
The Independent on Sunday reported yesterday that it had information that Bloom had received a phone call at a similar time to the email from Byers’ adviser Jo Moore urging colleagues to slip out unpopular announcements after the terrorist strikes on the US.
It is also claimed that senior civil servants in Byers’ office backed up the allegations by admitting that the decision to put Railtrack into administration was taken in mid-September. But, they could not remember the exact date.
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