Inquiry into Network Rail funds 'misuse'

An independent inquiry into the alleged misuse of public funds by senior executives at Network Rail (NR) will begin in the New Year, it was learned today.

Sources said it will led by Antony White QC and will begin formal hearings in London in January.

The move has been agreed by NR and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, which represents senior staff at the publicly-funded rail firm.

The inquiry's terms of reference state "that an inquiry should be conducted to investigate any allegations of misuse of public funds and serious financial impropriety, potentially including fraud, presented to the inquiry by TSSA or present or former employees of Network Rail".

The development follows months of allegations surrounding payments made to and by former and current senior staff at NR, which have always been strenuously denied.

It is understood NR will pay for the cost of holding the inquiry. The company was formed in 2002 to take over running the rail the network from Railtrack.

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