Members will recall that following the February sale of Blackpool Automaotive by the administrators PKF Ltd, back to Nikolai Smolenski, the Transport & General Workers Union, in conjunction with the Member of Parliament for Blackpool North & Fleetwood, Joan Humble MP, called on the DTI for a Government investigation into the sale. The T&GWU; claimed that Mr Smolenski's position as TVR's main creditor gave him an unfair advantage over other bidders.
The TVRCC has this afternoon received confirmation from two independent sources, one of which is the T&GWU; itself, that a DTI minister has indeed agreed to this investigation.
Since this news first broke earlier today we have now received the full press release which reads:
"TVR referred to investigation branch of the DTI
"The events at Blackpool's luxury sports car maker TVR, which led to former owner Nikolai Smolenski in effect buying his own business back, have been referred to the Department of Trade and Industry's Companies Investigation Branch.
"The decision by the DTI minister Jim Fitzpatrick was welcomed by the Transport and General Workers Union. The union has pressed for an inquiry into what happened at the Blackpool firm especially after Mr. Smolenski seemed to have divested responsibility to Blackpool Automotive which was then very quickly placed into administration.
"'This is a good decision by the DTI,' said Peter Booth, T&G; national organiser for manufacturing. 'It is the first step in delivering justice for our members but there is a long way to go in the process.'
"Mr. Booth and local T&G; officials were highly critical of the series of events in Blackpool which left a skilled workforce bereft of work and the work that TVR had done being taken abroad in all likelihood. The Smolenski bid was accepted by the administrators PKF ahead of local companies who had pledged their future to the local area and the workforce.
"The T&G; demanded an inquiry not just into the series of events but also into the system of administration which had allowed it to happen.
"'This process has allowed Mr. Smolenski to offload his debts; get most of his money back; take the majority of the business out of the country; leaving the taxpayer to pick up the bill for redundancy, notice and holiday pay, and nearly 300 loyal workers without a job,' said Mr. Booth at the time."