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Knight’s suitability as OTS chief questioned by MPs

THE GOVERNMENT’S tax adviser has repeatedly apologised to members of the Treasury Select Committee for her lobbying role during the financial crisis and Libor scandal.

Angela Knight, former chief executive of lobby group the British Bankers’ Association, was appointed chair of the Office of Tax Simplification last month.

On 12 January, Knight went in front of the Treasury Select Committee regarding her appointment at the OTS, and was questioned about her time as head of the BBA during the financial crisis and the Libor fixing scandal.

Helen Goodman, Labour MP for Bishop Auckland, suggested that Knight had a “credibility issue” following her time at the BBA.

Knight (pictured) defended her actions and suggested that she had been caught “in the face of a hurricane” and that she tried to do more regarding the Libor scandal, stating that she wanted the Bank of England to have observer status over Libor.

“I went to the BBA to take over an organisation, invited to do so particularly because of some of the retail banking issues, and found myself in charge at the time of the biggest banking crisis for more than a century,” Knight told the committee.

“I tried my best. I was out there, I did what I could in explanation. I am so sorry that I ended up at the BBA in the banking crisis; I’m so sorry that it chose me to be its target; I’m so sorry that it took a trade association into a different era; I’m so sorry that I never persuaded the authorities to take over Libor early; and I’m so sorry that the banks brought about the financial disaster that they did.”

Knight also said she was “appalled” when she heard that several multinational corporations failed to pay UK corporation tax in 2014.

Following the hearing, the Treasury Select Committee said that a report on Knight’s “personal independence and professional competence in the context of this role will be published in due course.”

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