Cable retreats on private equity

Vince Cable, the business secretary, was forced into a climbdown yesterday after officials at his department hastily moved to “clarify” his comments on the role of private equity firms in providing healthcare. Cable told a GMB conference he had ordered officials to investigate if there was an “underlying problem with private equity companies supplying public services” following the “shocking state of affairs” at care home provider Southern Cross. But the business department later said the probe had been into the companies that provide public services rather than private equity alone.