Politicians have been virtually "useless" so far at getting to the truth behind the banking scandal, one of the MPs responsible for investigating the affair has admitted.
Andrea Leadsom, whose forensic questioning of the former chief executive of Barclays, Bob Diamond, led to his only uncomfortable moments during last week's cross-examination by the Commons Treasury Select Committee, said: "I don't think we felt we did a fantastic job. It's a fair criticism to say, 'You guys were useless'.
"We had great weaknesses in that we didn't have email trails. We didn't have recordings of the morning meetings where you could point to what had been said. All we really had were the regulators' reports, what we'd seen in the media."
Her frank remarks, in an interview with The Independent, will raise doubts about whether the larger parliamentary inquiry being set up to investigate the banking scandal will be able to uncover the whole truth.Perhaps the reason that the larger parliamentary inquiry is being championed is precisely so the whole truth is not uncovered.
A judge-led inquiry with adequate resources and no time limits is highly likely to uncover a lot more wrong doing in the financial system.
David Cameron has rejected Labour's calls for a judge-led inquiry, arguing that it would take too long. Several of the MPs who questioned Mr Diamond last week are now considering calling him back for a second bout because they are dissatisfied with his answers.Who benefits from the glaring inadequacy of the larger parliamentary inquiry over the judge-led inquiry? Your humble blogger might suggest: the banks.
A parliamentary inquiry is much easier to control than a judge-led inquiry.