The veil of secrecy surrounding the future of Tony Douglas, erstwhile heir to the throne at Laing O’Rourke, feels no closer to being lifted this week

Douglas is the inspirational and brash Lancastrian Ray O’Rourke drafted in as his replacement a couple of summers ago after a stint running Heathrow airport.

When the 62-year-old O’Rourke decided the recession meant he was not ready to vacate the chief executive’s seat, it sparked an industry-wide game of “will Douglas stay?” that has reached fever pitch.