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

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Kylie has helped to boost viewing figures for the talent show  

When an Aussie calls you a ‘bastard’, you know you’ve arrived

Howard Jacobson
The number of schools converting to academies in the primary sector has now overtaken those in the secondary sector – 2,299 to 1,884 (Getty)  

In its headlong rush to make a profit, our education system is in danger of ignoring its main purpose

Janet Street-Porter
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee