Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has described a planned reunion of former Lehman Brothers staff on the 10th anniversary of the bank’s collapse as ‘sickening’.
Details of the event were first reported by Financial News, with an email chain purportedly from organisers saying the reunion would be held at a secret location in London, to which 210 people were invited.
The email, which was addressed to ‘Lehman Brothers & Sisters’, said: ‘It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the last of our Lehman days!... One of the best things about Lehman was the people.
‘What better way to celebrate the tenth anniversary than getting everyone from former MDs to former analysts back together again!’
McDonnell — who earlier this year promised investors he would not be a 'raving extremist' — called the plans 'absolutely sickening'.
‘It’s particularly disgraceful in the context of all the people who lost their jobs and homes to pay for bailing out these bankers who caused the financial crash, as well as against a backdrop of firefighters, police officers and other public servants facing years of brutal Tory pay restraint,' he said.
‘People will be absolutely disgusted about this unacceptable and highly inappropriate gathering.’
The collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 was the biggest bankruptcy in US history, helping to kick off the financial crisis and subsequent bailouts costing hundreds of billions of pounds in public funds.
The event's organisers were reportedly ‘very nervous’ and said it was not intended to cause offence.
Former chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling told Financial News:
‘It would be ridiculous to say you can’t meet.
‘Honestly, of all the problems we face today, frankly a bunch of people having a glass of wine is the least of them.’