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BEIS Committee requests Lex Greensill attendance for Liberty Steel & future of steel industry inquiry

16 June 2021

On 22 June from 10.30am, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee continues its inquiry on the future of the steel industry with a session focussing on the current challenges faced by Liberty Steel and also looking at wider issues affecting the sector.

Lex Greensill

Darren Jones, BEIS Committee Chair, has also written to Lex Greensill to formally request his attendance at a session of the Committee’s inquiry on 29 June. Lex Greensill has refused multiple requests to appear before the BEIS Committee for this inquiry.

The BEIS Committee are keen to question Lex Greensill, Founder and CEO, Greensill Capital in relation to the Committee’s inquiry and on issues relating to audit, corporate governance and supply chain finance.

The Committee will be holding further inquiry sessions in July. Sanjeev Gupta, CEO, GFG Alliance is due to appear at an inquiry hearing in July.

Chair's comment

Darren Jones, Chair of the Business, Enery and Industrial Strategy Committee said:

"At the opening evidence session for our inquiry we examined some of the sector-wide issues facing the steel industry in the UK, the Government’s assessment of Liberty Steel, and the lessons learned since the last major crisis in the steel industry.

We now want to examine some of these issues as they relate to Liberty Steel and f potential future government support if the current owners are unable to sustain the business. To this end, we look forward to questioning Sanjeev Gupta, CEO, GFG Alliance.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron referred to “a symbiotic relationship” between GFG Alliance and Greensill Capital. Given the Treasury’s exposure to government backed loans, via Greensill Capital to GFG Alliance companies, it’s important that the Committee hears from Lex Greensill. There are broad questions about audit, corporate governance and due diligence as well as Greensill Capital’s engagement with the British Business Bank.

It is therefore suspicious that Lex Greensill is refusing to engage constructively with our inquiry or even outline legitimate reasons for failing to do so. It is ultimately disrespectful to Parliament and, by extension, to the British people to refuse to appear. If Lex Greensill maintains confidence in his actions and that of his company, then he should want to appear before the Committee to put his position on the public record. I urge him to think again.”

Purpose of the session

At the hearing on Tuesday 22, the Committee will hear from Jon Bolton, GFG Advisory Board and former CEO of Liberty Steel, Anton Krull, Chief Financial Officer, Liberty Steel UK, and Dr Henrik Adams, Chief Executive Officer, Tata Steel Europe.

A week later, on Tuesday 29 June, the BEIS Committee will be holding a session examining corporate governance, audit and financial risk where it will question Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO, British Business Bank, and witnesses from auditors King & King, and Wyelands Bank.

Full witness details for later evidence sessions will be announced in due course.

Witnesses

Tuesday 22 June

At 10.30am

  • Dr Henrik Adams, Chief Executive Officer, Tata Steel Europe

At 11:30am

  • Jon Bolton, GFG Advisory Board and former CEO of Liberty Steel 
  • Anton Krull, Chief Financial Officer, Liberty Steel UK

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright