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Cameron-Appointed Quango Chief Resigns
A businessman appointed by David Cameron to head a £60bn quango has resigned after it was revealed he was declared bankrupt.
Tony Caplin was in charge of the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) which provides loans to infrastructure projects.
Under anti-sleaze rules, anyone on a public body must inform ministers if they are made bankrupt.
A Government spokesman said: "Tony Caplin was appointed to a number of public bodies by the Labour party. He was re-appointed to the PWLB by the Prime Minister.
"He should have declared he was bankrupt. This has been pointed out to him and as a result he has resigned."
According to the Mail on Sunday, Mr Caplin was a friend of the Chancellor, George Osborne, who is a former chairman of the same City firm where Mr Cameron's father was a partner.
He previously worked for the Conservatives as their Chief Operating Officer, but Tory sources have emphasised he no longer has a role in the party. He has also left his post on the Medical Research Council.
Chris Leslie MP, Labour's Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, told Sky News: "It is astonishing that the Prime Minister and the Chancellor could appoint someone who went bankrupt owing so much to the Treasury to run the Treasury's lending operations.
"For him to be bankrupted in 2012 and appointed by the Prime Minister as chairman of this key Treasury body the following year is surely a misjudgement too far by a Prime Minister with a track record of poor judgement in relation to his cronies.
"The Prime Minister and the Chancellor need to set out whether they knew about Mr Caplin's bankruptcy and debts to HMRC before making the appointment, whether it was a coincidence that the chairmanship was granted only weeks after Caplin was discharged as a bankrupt, and on which occasions they met with Caplin during the past four years."
The Labour MP and Chairman of the Public Account Committee, Margaret Hodge, told the Mail on Sunday: "This raises serious questions which should be investigated."
Conservative MP Douglas Carswell told the newspaper: "This proves the need for MPs to be given the right to interview public appointments instead of letting ministers hand them out to whoever they choose."