Why did Branson sit on bribe story for so long?

ANOTHER VIEW

Share
Related Topics
On Panorama on Monday night, Richard Branson made remarks that were clearly grossly defamatory, accusing our chairman, Guy Snowden, of attempting to bribe him to drop his bid to run the National Lottery.

Mr Branson has a lot of questions to answer. Why didn't he make these allegations immediately? Then he could have caused a great deal of damage to Camelot's bid. Why did he not pursue the alleged bribery to Oflot, the lottery regulator, when the bids were made?

He claims he offered to complain to Peter Davis, the director-general of Oflot. Mr Davis says this never happened.

A closely researched book about Mr Branson published this year contains a detailed account of the lunch with Mr Snowden, yet contains no mention of any bribery attempt. In fact, the suggestion is that Mr Snowden tried to frighten the Branson team from bidding.

Why did Richard Branson not go straight to the police? Surely, as a citizen of the United Kingdom, he had a duty to report any wrongdoing? Yet he waited two years before unveiling his story on television - surely an inappropriate place to make such serious allegations.

I would like an answer from Mr Branson to all these questions. At the moment his allegations are tainted by the way they have been made.

We at GTech are considering whether to sue. As Mr Branson has taken two years to emerge with his damaging story, we surely deserve a few days to consider our response.

As for the flights that we provided for Peter Davis when he visited the United States, everything was in strict accordance with all the laws, rules and regulations. There was nothing improper at all. Mr Davis, at his request, flew to five cities in three days, visiting GTech sites and our competitors. There is simply no way he could have covered so much ground so quickly on scheduled flights.

Since the lottery was introduced in Britain, lottery-bashing has become a favourite pastime of some sections of the media. Camelot - in which we hold a 22 per cent stake - is attacked for its great success. I discount those attacks because I think those who matter are the people who play the lottery - and virtually everyone in Britain is joining in, at least occasionally, to have a little flutter. That's what really matters.

The writer is director of public relations for GTech.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Children of a bygone era  

Kids these days aren't what they used to be — they're a lot better. So why the fuss?

Archie Bland
A suited man eyes up the moral calibre of a burlesque troupe  

Be they burlesque dancers or arms dealers, a bank has no business judging the morality of its clients

John Walsh
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star