Lothian Buses director in quit threat over ‘spin’

Marjory Rodgerwrote to Sue Bruce over the saga of chief executive Ian Craig, pictured. Picture: Jayne Emsley

Marjory Rodgerwrote to Sue Bruce over the saga of chief executive Ian Craig, pictured. Picture: Jayne Emsley

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A DIRECTOR at Lothian Buses has threatened to resign over alleged “spin” and “obfuscation” surrounding the investigation into chief executive Ian Craig, the News can reveal.

Non-executive director Marjory Rodger wrote to the chief executive of Edinburgh City Council earlier this month demanding to know why the city refused to support calls from former chairwoman Ann Faulds to dismiss Mr Craig.

And she condemned what she called “upsetting and totally unacceptable” claims that Ms Faulds had “botched” an inquiry into Mr Craig’s leadership, saying they were “casting serious aspersions on the reputation of the former chair”.

In the letter to Sue Bruce, Ms Rodger also said former chairwoman Ann Faulds had been “forced to resign” after she sought to dismiss the Lothian Buses chief executive following an investigation into grievances made by three 
fellow executives. The complaint, lodged in August, alleged Mr Craig had undermined the three executive directors by failing to consult them on hiring and firing decisions and behaving in an “intimidating and petulant” manner.

A report commissioned by Ms Faulds into the claims did not recommend disciplinary action, but the former chairwoman later won the backing of all her fellow non-executive directors of Lothian Buses for her call to dismiss Mr Craig on the grounds of the irreparably damaged relationships in the boardroom.

Ms Faulds resigned after the council failed to back her stance.

The letter by Ms Rodger, a transport business consultant with 20 years’ experience, insists the decision to seek Mr Craig’s sacking was backed by all non-executive directors on the board, including current chairman Tony Depledge.

Mr Depledge and another non-executive director are understood to have subsequently changed their minds regarding Mr Craig’s position.

The Evening News understands that a response to the letter is being considered by council legal officers on behalf of Ms Bruce.

Ms Rodger’s letter reiterates that all non-executive directors initially backed Ms Faulds’ decision, and says: “That decision was rejected by the shareholder and Ann Faulds was forced to resign.

“As a director of Lothian Buses, I am asking on what grounds? Upon request, the detailed evidence was supplied to the shareholder. Why was the decision rejected?”

Ms Rodger concludes: “I am still of the opinion that the decision reached by Ann Faulds was the right one, and have to consider my future.”

The Evening News understands Ms Bruce has not yet issued a reply to the letter. Ms Rodger remains in place on the board and has not tendered her resignation. She attended a board meeting on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the council declined to comment.