MG Rover quartet slam call for probe

<div>A QUARTET of executives accused of asset-stripping in relation to their purchase of collapsed carmaker MG Rover yesterday described moves towards a probe by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) as &ldquo;mystifying&rdquo;.<br /><br />Business secretary Lord Mandelson has asked the SFO to decide whether a criminal investigation should be launched into the 2005 collapse of MG Rover, bought by the four executives for a token sum of &pound;10 in 2000.<br /><br />John Towers, Nick Stephenson, Peter Beale and John Edwards, dubbed the Phoenix Four, yesterday struck out in defence of their actions.<br /><br />The Tories attacked the government&rsquo;s decision to refer the case to the SFO as a ploy to avoid political embarrassment over its own role in the carmaker&rsquo;s collapse.</div>