Goodwin's honour was upheld in 2009.So what changed?

News that knighthood got clean bill of health after collapse of RBS fuels row about 'political' decision

The committee responsible for annulling honours rejected the idea of stripping Fred Goodwin of his knighthood a year after the financial crash.

The revelation will fuel suggestions that Tuesday's move to annul Mr Goodwin's honour was politically motivated, with pressure being brought to bear on the committee – made up of senior civil servants – by David Cameron.

Cabinet Office sources confirmed that the Forfeiture Committee discussed removing Mr Goodwin's honour in 2009 after more than 70 MPs signed a Commons motion calling for the move. But it concluded the strict rules surrounding the forfeiture of honours prevented it from acting.

Yesterday the Prime Minister's spokesman refused to say whether Mr Cameron had asked the committee to investigate removing the honour. He would only say it was the committee's decision to launch the investigation.

Last night the former Chancellor Alistair Darling said the fact that the committee had met before and taken no action suggested the latest decision was driven by politics, not the proper procedures. "The Prime Minister seems to have picked on Fred Goodwin, referred him to the committee and then 10 days later they find him guilty.

"If the facts had changed then it would be quite proper for the Forfeiture Committee to look at the case again. But nothing has changed. He has not been convicted of an offence or been disciplined by a professional body which are the criteria for removing honours."

In its statement yesterday the Cabinet Office suggested that it was relying on the Financial Services Authority's report into the banking collapse and a subsequent Treasury Select Committee investigation for the move.

But the FSA report, while critical of the Royal Bank of Scotland board, did not single Mr Goodwin out for censure.

Giving evidence last month to the Treasury Select Committee Bill Knight, one of the FSA report's two external supervisors, said there was "no evidence" of Mr Goodwin's incompetence. He added that the report, overall, did not amount to censure of Mr Goodwin.

Sir Tom McKillop, who was chairman of RBS during Mr Goodwin's time, still has his knighthood. Last night Cabinet Office sources added it was not intending to look at the honours of other individuals involved in the banking crisis.

While David Cameron and Ed Miliband both welcomed the decision to strip Mr Goodwin of his knighthood other politicians were more critical. The former Trade minister, Lord Digby Jones, said the move had the "whiff of a lynch mob about it". "This man may be right or wrong but he has not been convicted of a criminal offence. Now, under a lot of political pressure, they're saying, 'We'll change the rules retrospectively and we're going to take this man's honour away from him.' Where does this stop?"

Lord Jones said Fred Goodwin was not the only knight at RBS who could be blamed. "You know there were other knights on that board of RBS that did this; there were knights at the FSA, who said 'Yeah, it's OK'; there were knights who were running the pension funds who were the investors in the company.

"What we need to know is what changed between 2009 and this year. But because it's a secretive system we have not been told if there was new evidence or if it was simply political pressure which was brought to bear."

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said the decision to strip Mr Goodwin of his honour was a distraction. "What about all the other people who are keeping their honours who were also involved in the financial collapse?" he asked.

Suggested Topics
Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
These photographs released by the University of Maryland Medical Center show images of full face transplant recipient 37-year-old Richard Lee Norris of Hillsville, Virginia
mediaGQ front page features man who underwent full face transplant
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Sport
Moeen Ali wearing the 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' wristbands on his left arm
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tv
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Battle of the Five Armies trailer released
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Extras
indybest
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Business Analyst - London - Banking - £400-£450

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Banking - London...

Application Engineer - Flow Metering

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Application ...

Chemical Engineer/Project Coordinator

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Chemical Eng...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on