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Whyte facing ban on being director

DISGRACED ex-Rangers owner Craig Whyte has been given six weeks to challenge a legal move to ban him from running a company for up to 15 years.

CRAIG WHYTE: Lawyers have applied to have the former Rangers owner disqualified as a director. Picture: SNS Group
CRAIG WHYTE: Lawyers have applied to have the former Rangers owner disqualified as a director. Picture: SNS Group

Lawyers for Business Secretary Vince Cable, whose department oversees the behaviour of company directors, have placed a public notice in a bid to track down the rogue businessman.

It informs Mr Whyte that they have applied to the Court of Session in Edinburgh to have him disqualified as a director.

Mr Whyte, who was banned for seven years in 2000, has been given six weeks to challenge the application or it will be granted.

The notice lists Mr Whyte's last known address as 1 Rue De Tenao - an apartment in the tax haven of Monaco.

Mr Whyte had originally instructed lawyers to fight the legal move when it was called in the Court of Session earlier this year but later parted company with his lawyers.

At a hearing before Lord Tyre in May, solicitor advocate John Gildea said that his team no longer acted for Mr Whyte and sought leave to withdraw.

David Thomson, counsel for the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said "skeletal answers" had been lodged as defences to the case and that steps would be taken to find out if Mr Whyte intended to proceed with his opposition to the move.

The public notice, published yesterday, reads: "A Petition has been brought in the Court of Session, Edinburgh, Scotland, by Her Majesty's Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills.

"If Craig Thomas Whyte wishes to challenge the jurisdiction of the court or to answer the Petition, he should contact the Deputy Principal Clerk of Session, Court of Session, Parliament Square, Edinburgh, immediately and in any event by not later than six weeks from the publication of this advertisement."

Under UK business law, Mr Whyte, originally from Motherwell, Lanarkshire, will be banned for between two and 15 years if he is found to be unfit to hold directorships.

His disastrous time in charge saw Rangers fall into administration before being liquidated.

Hailed as the saviour of the club in 2011, his reign unravelled when it was revealed he had paid off the bank by mortgaging £17.7million in future ticket sales. When the club entered administration, it emerged they owed £9m in tax.

The revelations led to the SFA declaring Mr Whyte "not a fit and proper person" to run a football club. It also emerged he concealed his industry history from Ticketus, the firm he mortgaged the tickets to.

Asked if he had been disqualified as a company director, he said no - although it was later revealed he was in fact banned for seven years from 2000.

Unaware of his past banning order, Ticketus went ahead with the deal which enabled Mr Whyte to buy Rangers and pay off its debts to Lloyds Bank.

Rangers were forced into administration over unpaid PAYE and VAT accrued in his reign.

The Bank of Scotland recently repossessed Mr Whyte's 14th century home, Castle Grant, near Grantown-on-Spey, after a long-running battle over more than £50,000 of mortgage arrears.

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