MPs welcome move on BCCI liquidator

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The Independent Online
TWENTY-FIVE MPs have signed a Commons motion welcoming the decision of the President of the Board of Trade, Michael Heseltine, to 'consider the removal of Touche Ross as liquidator of BCCI', despite downplaying of the move by DTI sources.

Keith Vaz, the Labour MP who organised the motion, accused Touche Ross of 'rolling around in the (BCCI) victims' money'.

Neil Hamilton, undersecretary of state for corporate affairs, stated in a written answer on 26 January that 'representations have been made which ask that the liquidators be removed under the powers contained in section 172 of the Insolvency Act 1986 and these are being considered'.

Sources close to the DTI point out that this is some way from Mr Vaz's claim that 'the minister confirmed that he was investigating the removal of Touche Ross'.

This latest attack on Touche comes as it prepares for the mammoth meeting for up to 5,000 BCCI creditors, to be held at Wembley Arena on 27 May.

Mr Vaz, who has campaigned on behalf of BCCI employees and creditors in the UK, organised the motion after he received the written reply from Mr Hamilton last week. The motion also says that the House 'believes that the progress of this liquidation has been painfully slow; notes that despite the liquidators' and associated fees of pounds 1m a week, no money, apart from statutory compensation, has been paid to depositors, local authorities, or former employees of BCCI; and hopes that the President (Mr Heseltine), as the person who appointed the liquidators, will be present at Wembley Arena on 27 May at 2pm to ensure that a proper creditors' committee is elected and that the issue of who should be the liquidator is put to the vote'.

The creditors' meeting is being held to decide whether there is a need to replace the creditors' committee, and if so who should be on that committee. It would take a minimum of 25 per cent of creditors by value to propose replacing Touche as liquidators at the meeting.