Barings boss questions Andrea Leadsom's rescue story

Nick Leeson

The former chief executive of Barings Bank has questioned Tory leadership contender Andrea Leadsom's claims of working at the centre of attempts to halt a financial crisis in the aftermath of the bank's collapse.

Leadsom, who will face home secretary Theresa May in a battle to become the next Prime Minister, has regularly referred to her experience in financial services, both as part of the EU referendum campaign, and her subsequent battle to lead the Tories.

However, questions have emerged over her claims, leading Leadsom's team to publish a CV earlier this week in an attempt to clarify her work history.

And now, former Barings Boss Peter Norris has said he could not remember Leadsom contributing as the bank went down in 1995, despite Leadsom repeatedly referring to her role.

"I was there the weekend of Barings' collapse. I presented to all the banks in a room with Eddie George and I have absolutely no recollection of her at all," Norris told Reuters.

"She may have had a relationship with Barings but I do not recall her being involved in any way surrounding the collapse that weekend."

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Leadsom has repeatedly referred to her work reacting to the collapse of Barings since being elected to Parliament.

In her maiden speech in parliament, she said that as the bank collapsed on a Friday evening, “Eddie George, the then Governor of the Bank of England, called together a small group of bankers, including myself, and we worked over the weekend to calm the fears of banks that were exposed to Barings."

And in a Treasury committee hearing in July 2010, Leadsom claimed she was “running the investment team” at Barclays at the time.

Leadsom's office could not be reached for comment, but earlier today, the minister told the BBC that claims she had exaggerated her CV were "ridiculous".

Full story: Barings boss questions Andrea Leadsom's rescue story: City A.M.

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