Ex-Paymaster Robinson cleared in payments probe

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Indy Politics

Former Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson will not face charges into government payments to his company.

Former Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson will not face charges into government payments to his company.

Police today said there was insufficient evidence in allegations made by former employees of the firm, Transfer Technology.

It is believed the grants for the development of high technology machines from the Department of Trade and Industry totalled £500,000.

The probe centred around payments made between 1986 and 1989.

Mr Robinson, at the centre of the 'home loan' feud with Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson, said he was very pleased but not surprised at the outcome.

He added: "This is a line in the sand and it's another investigation that has proved absolutely nothing improper in my business dealings."

The Coventry North West MP, whose memoirs An Unconventional Minister rekindled the row over his loan to Mr Mandelson which led to them both resigning from the Government, received the news from police this morning.

The West Midlands fraud squad said in a statement: "Following an investigation by the West Midlands Police Major Fraud Unit, and after consultation with the Serious Fraud Office, it has been decided that there is insufficient evidence to justify prosecution of any individual or company as a result of the allegations made concerning grants allotted by the DTI to Transfer Technology Ltd or associate companies between 1986 and 1989."

The ex-Treasury minister's friends may hope the news could clear the way for him to re-enter the Government.

But a return to office is unlikely after his book also renewed talk of a divisive split at the heart of the Cabinet over the euro, with Mr Mandelson said to be trying to push for a more positive line than the one adopted by Chancellor Gordon Brown.

The claims against Mr Robinson were first aired in 1996, before Labour came to power.

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