Friday, August 5, 2011

#Siemens #Cameron 1.4 billion deal link !

A KEY figure in the investment company backing Siemens' bid for the £1.4bn Thameslink rail contract is also a close business adviser to David Cameron, it emerged last night.
Michael Queen is chief executive of 3i Group, whose subsidiary forms part of the consortium which was chosen by the Government ahead of Derby-based Bombardier for the train deal.
Mr Queen was a managing partner in the 3i group, with responsibility for investment and infrastructure, at the time the Thameslink tender process was under way.

And since last year he has been a member of the group of high-flying businessmen who advise David Cameron on economic policy.
But both Downing Street and 3i insist there has been no conflict of interest over Mr Queen's two roles.

It has also emerged 3i chairman Sir Adrian Montague has close links with Government, having been asked by Business Secretary Vince Cable to head efforts to set up the Coalition's Green Investment Bank.

The institution will eventually pay out funding to private-sector renewable energy projects. The Derby Telegraph invited Mr Queen and Sir Adrian to make a comment about their roles but a spokesman for 3i would only say: "We are confident there is no conflict of interest."

He added neither the Green Investment Bank nor the Business Advisory Group, on which Mr Queen sits, had a role in guiding specific procurement projects, nor had they a connection to the Thameslink programme.

Meanwhile, a Downing Street spokesman also insisted there was no conflict of interest. Asked about Mr Queen's position advising Mr Cameron, the spokesman said: "The PM had absolutely no role in the Thameslink procurement process.
"The PM and the Government work closely with many UK businesses to secure growth for the economy."

Speaking about Sir Adrian's position, the spokesman said: "There is no conflict of interest. Adrian Montague's unpaid role, as part of an advisory group, is about design of the Green Investment Bank and its strategic direction, not about investment decisions."

He added: "(The Thameslink) procurement was set up and designed by the previous Government. We are legally bound by the criteria set out at the beginning of that process and, therefore, we have to continue with the outcome of the Thameslink procurement."

After Siemens, which has three partners, including 3i Infrastructure, in its consortium, was named preferred bidder for Thameslink, Bombardier, which had also been hoping to win the work, announced it would have to lay off 1,400 workers. There are now fears that the company could withdraw from the UK altogether.