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Enron connection brings down UK press official

Cites the inability to perform duties "for legal reasons" connected with his knowledge of Enron's collapse.

Lord Wakeham, the chairman of Britain's Press Complaint Commission, citing the inability to perform duties "for legal reasons" connected with his knowledge of Enron's collapse, temporally resigned the position on 31 January.

" not wish [PCC] to be damaged by continuing short-term speculation. I therefore see it as a matter of honour to stand aside temporarily," states a press release from Lord Wakeham. "I will not be making any further statements."

Lord Wakeman has deep political and business ties with Enron. While Energy Secretary in the Thatcher government he approved Enron's construction of the largest gas-fired power station in Europe. He joined Enron as a non-executive director in 1996, two years after leaving Thatcher's cabinet. He's a non-executive director of Wessex Water, which Enron purchased in 1998. And is a director of the US-based Azurix Corporation, an Enron subsidiary.

Causing the most speculation about Lord Wakeham's knowledge of Enron's implosion is that he is a qualified accountant and was a member of the company's audit committee. Accounting fraud shattered the Texas based energy trader. Charged with protecting shareholders' interests the problems that destroyed Enron should have been caught by the audit committee.

Lord Wakeham, held the top post at the PCC for seven years and resigned under pressure from Liberal Democrats, who continue to call on Labor Party officials to answer question about their relationships with Enron.

Report from the Independent of London

Report from the BBC (Thanks to




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