The Guardian reports:
Barclays was tonight accused of making a mockery of attempts to call a truce with the government over “banker bashing” amid fresh expectations that its chief executive Bob Diamond would be awarded a bonus of at least £8m.
After months of talking with the banks, the coalition is yet to announce a deal, codenamed Merlin, under which the industry would to agree lending targets of up to £190bn and show restraint on bonuses in return for less criticism from the government.
The talks with the banks have been led by Diamond’s predecessor John Varley and tonight Lord Oakeshott, a Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman, appeared to suggest the bank was making a mockery of those discussions.
“Barclays are shaking hands with government over project Merlin while holding up two fingers to the country with the other,” Oakeshott said.
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