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EXTRAORDINARY ITEMS – Unearthing links to Old Labour.

In trawling the FD archives for this month’s cover story on Labour’s conversion to capitalism, we couldn’t help but stumble over Old Labour’s heavyweight associate, Robert Maxwell. In our May 1985 issue, for instance, we reported how Charles Williams, ex-chairman of merchant bank Henry Ansbacher and one-time MD at Barings, had been appointed “personal FD” to Cap’n Bob – a post that included directorships of Pergammon and Mirror Group. We also mentioned that he was about to join the Lords as a Labour peer with the intention of specialising in “the regulation and organisation of City markets”. Ironic that, given what subsequently happened with Maxwell and Barings. True to New Labour, Lord Williams of Elvel is still on the side of business – as parliamentary adviser to Arthur Andersen & Co.

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