‘The charges that could torpedo BAE: a new sub launched, two big deals in the offing, but scandal has broken the surface again’ (The Independent, 10 June).
The UK’s largest defence group insisted it had done nothing wrong, but its reputation, and that of the Government, came under heavy scrutiny from the broadsheets. ‘Sordid’ wrote Simon Jenkins (The Sunday Times, 10 June), while The Observer’s Will Hutton dubbed the affair ‘squalid’ (10 June).
Although the firm refused to confirm that it was to set up an independent ethics panel to investigate its business dealings, the move was viewed as an attempt ‘to draw a line under allegations of corruption’ (The Sunday Times, 10 June) .
City commentators remained sanguine, however. ‘Despite the dirt thrown, BAE’s share price has been armour-plated. How come? Well, you don’t put your money into an arms manufacturer if ethical investment is your top priority’ (Ruth Sunderland, The Observer, 10 June).