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London Evening Standard: City Spy column

CAN WE DETECT THE HAND OF TONY BLAIR’S former spinstress Anji Hunter in the attempted control of the media during publication of the critical Baker Report into BP’s Texas City disaster?

In a forlorn bid to muzzle the London press, BP refused questions from journalists other than those in Houston during a video conference on the report, despite BP chief executive Lord Browne himself joining in by videolink from London. The risible excuse for limiting the inquisition? “Technical reasons.”

BEFORE WE RUSH TO BURY Lord Browne it’s worth pointing out BP shares have risen in dollar terms by 200 percent since he took over stewardship of the company, outperforming Royal Dutch Shell by 28 percent. We shouldn’t let him off the hook completely, though, without recalling the reserves scandal cataclysms which so hit Shell’s stocks and the fact that BP, over the same time period, has underperformed Exxon Mobil of the US by around 35 percent and Total of France by nearly 60 percent.

Published: Jan 17, 2007

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