New law on corporate killing criticised as weak

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Indy Politics

Plans to charge negligent companies with a new offence of "corporate killing" came under fire last night for being too weak and having no firm timetable.

Since the train and ferry disasters of the late 1980s and 1990s, Labour has twice promised in election manifestos to introduce the measure. David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, announced yesterday that the Government would act on the pledge in a draft Bill tightening existing laws on corporate manslaughter. But the Home Office was unable to set out a timetable for introducing the measure and refused to bow to calls to make individual employees liable to prosecution.

Thompsons Solicitors, a personal injury law firm, said it was disappointed ministers had dropped the proposal to disqualify directors of companies convicted of corporate killing. Louise Christian, a lawyer who has represented families bereaved by rail crashes, said: "I fear all this will not lead to any increase in accountability by companies."