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Noel Edmonds launches attack on Rachel Riley after she appeared in 'propaganda' Lloyds advert



'Hand back the money and restore your integrity': Noel Edmonds blasts Countdown's Rachel Riley after she appeared in advert for Lloyds following his bitter legal battle with bank

  • Edmonds suing bank for £60m over handling of fraud that crushed his business 
  • The Countdown star appeared in #gettheinsideout advert campaign for bank
  • He accused bank of the 'destruction of lives and livelihoods on a military scale’
  • Edmonds was driven to the brink of suicide following collapse of his company

By Sebastian Murphy-bates For Mailonline and Paul Thompson for MailOnline

Published: 02:46 EDT, 20 July 2018 | Updated: 05:21 EDT, 20 July 2018

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Noel Edmonds has launched an attack on Countdown star Rachel Riley because she appeared in a Lloyds Bank advert.

The mathematician appears in a campaign encouraging people to open up about their mental health.

Edmonds - who is suing the bank for £60million - criticised her for appearing in the campaign, which is partnered with Mental Health UK. 

He accused the bank of the hypocrisy after saying it drove him to the brink of suicide when his business folded due to their handling of a fraud. 

Edmonds - who is suing the bank for £60million - accused the firm of destroying lives and livelihoods on a military scale 
Edmonds - who is suing the bank for £60million - accused the firm of destroying lives and livelihoods on a military scale 

Edmonds - who is suing the bank for £60million - accused the firm of destroying lives and livelihoods on a military scale 

Edmonds is locked in a legal battle with the bank and said Riley - along with a host of other celebrities - is part of the company's 'propaganda', Sebastian Shakespeare reports.

He told MailOnline in an exclusive interview that he is also willing to meet with the celebrities and explain why they should walk away from working with Lloyds Bank.

'Apparently Rachel has been paid £20,000 to lend her name to the campaign,’ he said the former Saturday night TV star, who is suing the bank for £60 million, claims.

‘It’s possible that Rachel is not aware that Lloyds Bank is responsible for the destruction of lives and livelihoods on a military scale.’

He instructed Riley to ‘hand back the money and restore your integrity'. 

Rachel Riley appears in the advert encouraging people to open up about their struggles with mental health 
Rachel Riley appears in the advert encouraging people to open up about their struggles with mental health 

Rachel Riley appears in the advert encouraging people to open up about their struggles with mental health 

'You’re either with the victims or the perpetrators,' he said. 'Undo the damage, Rachel.’ 

The Countdown star has yet to respond to his calls for a meeting. MailOnline has contacted her for a comment. 

Edmonds has also written to former Olympic star Victoria Pendleton, rapper Professor Green, comic Alex Brooker and TV interviewer Jeremy Paxman urging them to quit the campaign in a letter on his website.

He said the five celebrities had either been ‘naïve’ in accepting the promotional job or driven by ‘greed’ 

He told MailOnline: 'I will give the celebrities the benefit of the doubt that they were not aware that Lloyds are responsible for the most terrible of suffering of thousands of people. This is a company at the forefront on the PPI scandal and accused of tax evasion and money laundering.

Edmonds (pictured) blasted Rachel Riley for her involvement in the bank's campaign with Mental Health UK
Edmonds (pictured) blasted Rachel Riley for her involvement in the bank's campaign with Mental Health UK
Edmonds blasted Rachel Riley (pictured) for her involvement in the bank's campaign with Mental Health UK
Edmonds blasted Rachel Riley (pictured) for her involvement in the bank's campaign with Mental Health UK

Edmonds (left) blasted Rachel Riley (right) for her involvement in the bank's campaign with Mental Health UK

‘I would hope that people like Rachel Riley and Victoria Pendleton took the job out of ignorance rather than greed.

‘If they or their agents had done their research they would have found out the suffering of so many people caused by this bank.

‘It is laughable that the bank is promoting mental health awareness. Lets not forget it was banks like Lloyds that plunged Britain into a decade of austerity and all the mental health problems that has caused for so many.

‘I know from my own personal experience how they have affected my mental health,' he said.

‘And millions of others have suffered as a result of the way banks behaved in the 2008 financial crash. The people that caused that are still working and walking around. Who are they to lecture us on mental health issues when they are responsible for the suffering of so many.'

Edmonds is suing the bank following its handling of a fraud that ruined his business in a legal battle that has raged throughout the year 
Edmonds is suing the bank following its handling of a fraud that ruined his business in a legal battle that has raged throughout the year 

Edmonds is suing the bank following its handling of a fraud that ruined his business in a legal battle that has raged throughout the year 

He adds he is disappointed to see the celebrities lending their name to such a ‘cynical campaign’.

Edmonds says corrupt financiers destroyed his business called the Unique Group.

The banker for his company was Mark Dobson, a former HBOS employee in the Reading branch who was jailed in January last year for a massive fraud against the bank’s clients.

Dobson and five other men spent the proceeds of their £245million loans scam on super yachts and sex parties while destroying businesses to which they had lent money.

Lloyds took over HSBOS in 2007 after bailing them out during the financial crisis. They have denied being responsible for the collapse of Edmonds’s company.

Edmonds warned earlier this month that Lloyds Banking Group will have to pay out significantly more compensation to victims of fraud at HBOS Reading.

The Treasury Select Committee released letters showing the lender has paid out £75million so far to victims, with some complainants taking home up to £5million.

That leaves £25million for remaining members of the review, if Lloyds were to stay within its existing provisions of £100million.

Edmonds is pursuing Lloyds for damages for losses allegedly suffered when his former business Unique Group was destroyed because of the fraud.

Corrupt financiers from the HBOS Reading branch were jailed last year for the £245 million loans scam which destroyed several businesses, before they squandered the profits on high-end prostitutes and luxury holidays.

Mr Edmonds said: 'Heads have got to roll, starting with Lord Blackwell, and also Antonio (Horta-Osorio) and the board.'

Lloyds’ £100 million provision does not account for potential court settlements related to HBOS, as pending legal cases cannot be calculated in the same way.

It means Mr Edmonds’ legal claim would be paid out separately, as he is not part of the compensation review – which bars victims from taking Lloyds to court once settlements are accepted.

Lloyds said it had 'made determined efforts to reach a consensual resolution with Mr Edmonds through mediation late last year, but this was not possible'.

'As a formal litigation process has begun it would be inappropriate to comment other than to say his claim will be contested.'

More than a fifth of investors voted against pay for top bosses at Lloyds in May this year. 

At its annual meeting, more than 20 per cent of the bank’s shareholders cast ballots against the directors’ remuneration report, which included a £6.42million pay packet for boss Antonio Horta-Osorio.

It came after advisory group Institutional Shareholders Services recommended the report be rejected on the grounds that Mr Horta-Osorio’s pay packet is nearly 100 times that of the average worker.

It also flagged an 'unduly complex' bonus structure and discrepancies between 'pay and relative performance'.

To compound the embarrassment Mr Edmonds, who had purchased one share in Lloyds for 67p in order to attend the Edinburgh AGM, used the opportunity to rip into the company’s board as part of a long-running dispute with the lender. 

During the meeting, Mr Edmonds said: 'If you want to turn it into a game show, the way you treat us I would call it "Pointless".

'If you want to turn it into "Jail Or No Jail" you are going in the right direction. Things are very serious but I keep asking questions and you keep ducking them.'

After the meeting Edmonds told journalists: 'Lloyds Bank have a policy of lie, deny, deceive.

'I have tried to arrive at a negotiated settlement of my situation and they just drag it out and try to break you with legal fees.

'This was an opportunity for me to actually see them face-to-face and ask simple questions.'

 

 

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