Call for John Redwood to resign

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The Independent Online
A BUILDING SOCIETY pressure group last night called on John Redwood, the Conservative trade and industry spokesman, to resign from Murray Financial, whose shares start trading on AIM this morning.

Kerry Pollard MP, spokesman for the "Save Our Building Societies" campaign, is to propose an Early Day Motion today condemning Mr Redwood for becoming a director of Murray Financial, which has been set up to cash in on the demutualisation boom.

Mr Pollard is calling on Mr Redwood to resign his directorship of Murray Financial, or failing that, to resign his position immediately as shadow trade and industry secretary.

Murray Financial was launched by Ken Murray in Edinburgh earlier this year and has just raised pounds 10million through an oversubscribed placing and offer. The company aims to pursuade building societies, friendly societies and mutual life assurance companies to demutualise in exchange for shares in Murray Financial, a specially created investment vehicle.

Mr Pollard, Labour MP for St Albans, said yesterday: "How can the spokesperson for Trade & Industry responsible for competition law, regulation within the economy and consumer choice join an organisation that seeks to limit choice within the financial services market by removing building societies? He has placed himself in an impossible position. Mr Redwood must resign immediately from Murray Financial."

Mr Redwood has declared his interest in the company on the register of Members' interests, and maintains that there is no clash between his role as trade spokesman and that of non-executive director of the company.