Following the Government statement on Johnston Press going into administration and its subsequent acquisition by a new consortium of its creditors, JPI Media, Sir Mike Penning raises concerns about the future of small suppliers and creditors who are not part of the acquisition consortium.
The Hemel Gazette in my constituency is a Johnston Press paper. Although no people in my constituency work on it, my thoughts are with those who are concerned about their future and their pensions. May I ask about a group of people we have not heard about, the small suppliers and the small creditors? They will have heard about everything going on this weekend, with the big creditors taking over the same management team. That must be of real concern to the small creditor—whether that is legal. They stand to lose thousands and thousands of pounds and may well go under because the big companies will get all the money, while it will operate in exactly the same way as before but under a slightly different name.
I hope my right hon. Friend will forgive me—I am going to sound like a cracked record by the end of this urgent question—but there are reasons why I need to be cautious at this stage about what I say about the transaction and the way it has been conducted. There will be inquiries made into the way in which this has transpired, including the effect on small creditors. At this stage, we must await some of those conclusions before taking matters further.