The shameless Mr Woodford

Tomorrow's Business

Does Neil Woodford have any shame? If he does, it’s well hidden.

Today every paper got rightly furious about his latest £9 million dividend, paid even while his fund group headed for crisis.

Woodford’s only response to all this was to blame the press for “negative coverage” (pardon us all over the place) and point out that the payment was for last year, not this (so what?).

As Matthew Vincent in the FT put it: “News of the dividend payout comes as the fund’s remaining holdings are to be handed over to liquidators.” Quite.

Here’s how it is supposed to work: Businessman pays himself outrageous bonus even while customers are left to rot. The press goes gale force 9 nuts.

Businessman worries about his reputation, his standing in society, possibly even his personal safety. He relents. And does something approaching the right thing.

Woodford has said sorry, but keeping the money is the more telling evidence of what he really thinks.

In the face of such arrogance, such all-out go screw yourselves balls, the press is left rather impotent.

We did our best.

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