View from City Road: Peace with Fayeds was not cheap

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Of all the Machiavellian twists in the battle between Lonrho and House of Fraser, one of the most extraordinary is the apparent decision by Tiny Rowland, chairman of Lonrho, to drop one of his own paid informers in the soup.

As part of the peace with the Fayeds last autumn, Lonrho handed them documents which they are now using in a civil lawsuit against their former finance director, Graham Jones.

A writ in the High Court in London alleges that, after leaving House of Fraser, Mr Jones supplied confidential information to Lonrho, tried to discredit his former company with the Bank of England, and gave damaging evidence to a Commons select committee without disclosing his payment from Lonrho.

There is no mystery about why the documents are useful to the Fayeds, who have a reputation to recover. But why should Lonrho disclose payments totalling pounds 550,000 to Mr Jones that could well backfire on those within the company who authorised them? Peace with the Fayeds did not come cheaply.