To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will initiate an inquiry into the conduct of the Maxwell auditors.
The Serious Fraud Office—SFO—is investigating events leading up to the collapse of the Maxwell group. Whether the role of the auditors may be relevant to those enquiries is a matter for the SFO. If any matters arise which could more appropriately be investigated using my right hon. Friend's powers, we will not hesitate to use them provided this would not impede the SFO's work. The Government's response to the report of the Social Security Committee on pension funds, which refers to the conduct of auditors, will be made in due course.