The Sketch: The day we laughed at £20m man's expense

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The Independent Online

"For the THIRD TIME, can I ask WHAT MONTH you found out," David Ruffley asked. He'd been given two responses practically in real time, "going back to 2006" and "putting in context".

Bob Diamond's final answer was "this month". That is, in the previous four days.

It was then that the banker's authority started a long, collapsing-chimney descent.

The committee weren't going to put up with the rubbish that business people had been hosing over them for the last decade. The platitudes, the pieties, the boring, banal evasions.

The last time Diamond said that he "loved" Barclays – probably the fifth or sixth time – he was openly laughed at.

A spontaneous round of laughter at the £20m bonus man. He was interrupted more and more freely, over-ridden, shut up, made to address the question.

Andrea Leadsome became impatient with him – and that has a quality all its own.

George Mudie, in his avuncular way, humiliated him. Teresa Pearce asked him about his assertion last year that the banks' "period of remorse was over".

He said it "didn't come over the way I meant." And what did he mean? "Banks had to be better citizens". More, quieter but more hurtful laughter.

How was the combustible John Mann going to top his colleagues? He gave the wretch a pretty good pounding, and when asked for a question (it's a mistake to goad John Mann) he read out a piety Diamond had made to the committee last year.

Were I one of these defective CEOs, he'd said, I would expect to lose my job and my shares. Right. Now. So. Here we are. Would he live up to the Quaker virtues on which Barclays was founded? Er, what were they again, Diamond nearly said.

As his annual bonus was bigger than the budget of our biggest homelessness charity, would he give his bonus to house the helpless? The answer was (I precis): F**k off.