The London head of the UK’s biggest house builder has been arrested as part of a probe into alleged corrupt building contracts.
FTSE 100 builder Barratt Developments confirmed in a regulatory statement on Wednesday that Alastair Baird had been suspended and arrested by London’s Metropolitan Police. Another, unnamed former Barratt employee has also been arrested.
Barratt says in a statement the investigation relates to “possible misconduct in the process for awarding and managing certain material & sub-contract supply contracts.” The Met’s investigation is being led by its complex fraud team, according to the Guardian.
Baird, 52, joined Barratt in 1987, according to the company’s website. The London regional manager “is responsible for high-value complex residential and mixed-use developments across the capital,” according to his biography on the site.
The arrests follow an internal investigation by Barratt into the alleged tendering misconduct that was referred to the police in April. Barratt also pursued legal action against an employee in October last year who was fired in February. It is not clear if this is the former Barratt employee who was arrested alongside Baird.
Barratt says it has adopted “additional controls” to guard against any future problems. Barratt CEO David Thomas says in a statement:
“We are committed to meeting the highest ethical standards in all aspects of our business. We have acted decisively, launching our own thorough and comprehensive investigation and referring the matter to the Metropolitan Police.”
Barratt London specialises in mid-range housing developments in the capital. It is part of Barratt Developments, which build over 17,000 houses across the UK last year.