Labour’s role in Libor discussion under scrutiny

REVELATIONS that “a number of senior officials in Whitehall” allegedly raised questions about Barclays’ Libor submissions last night led to fevered speculation about the previous Labour government’s role in the scandal.

The claims are reported in a memo sent by Barclays’ Bob Diamond in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.

Alistair Darling, who was chancellor at the time the alleged interventions took place, said such advice would be “indefensible”.

“I can think of no circumstances that anyone would ever suggest wrongdoing like this,” he told Channel 4 News.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls, who held the position of economic secretary to the Treasury until 2007, said he had “absolutely no idea” about Libor-fixing because he was serving as secretary of state for children, schools and families at the time of the financial crisis.

Questions have also been raised about the role of Baroness Vadera, then a Labour economic adviser who co-authored a paper entitled “Reducing Libor” in late 2008.

Last night a spokesman said she has “no recollection of speaking to Paul Tucker or anyone else the Bank of England about the price setting of Libor”.