Grilling for gas regulator

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The Independent Online

Industrial Correspondent

Clare Spottiswoode, the gas industry regulator, has been summoned before the House of Commons Select Committee on Trade and Industry on 5 July.

The meeting, in theory to discuss her annual report, is expected to re- open the row over her negotiations with the Government for a substantial increase in her pounds 70,000 salary.

Yesterday, Ms Spottiswoode, whose pay is at the bottom of the league of industry regulators, promised to publish details of any new salary agreed with the Department of Trade and Industry. She defended her quest for new pay and conditions on the grounds that the job is more time-consuming and demanding than originally envisaged.

Separately, Pirc, the corporate governance consultancy, has written to British Gas demanding clarification and independent scrutiny of the poll taken at the company's annual meeting on Wednesday.

Pirc, which failed in its resolution to have the British Gas executive remuneration system changed, is concerned that the votes in favour of its move are now claimed by the company to be less than announced on Wednesday evening. British Gas said it had received the letter and passed it to its registrars.