Trial of five non-executives had been due to start this week

Five former non-executive directors of Carillion will avoid trial after the government dropped the case at the 11th hour. 

The Insolvency Service has this year issue disqualifications to three former executives at the doomed contractor and had been set to begin a 13-week trial against five other former board members this week. 

Instead, the civil action was dropped on Friday afternoon, having decided that continuing proceedings was “no longer in the public interest”. 

“On that basis the parties agreed that the proceedings should be concluded by way of agreement and without the need for a trial or the associated expense,” the Insolvency Service said in a statement which noted that no confidential settlement had been reached between the non-executive directors and the government. 


Carillion had been the UK’s second biggest contractor and was working on 420 public sector contracts when it went bust

The service had been seeking ban against former chairman Philip Green and former chief executive Keith Cochrane, as well as Andrew Dougal, Alison Horner and Ceri Powell. 

Andy Pendergast, national secretary of GMB, said “serious questions” needed to be asked as to why the trial had not been pursued and that the decision “creates the impression that it is being brushed under the carpet”. 

“Workers, suppliers and the taxpayer lost hundreds of millions in the collapse and yet those responsible seem to have escaped with minor sanctions and fines,” he said. 

The news comes a week after KPMG and two of its former partners were hit with fines totalling £30m relating to failures in audits of Carillion before it went bust in January 2018.