The widening role of private equity in corporate Britain was defended yesterday by the Confederation of British Industry. The Times. Financial Times

In a submission to the commons Treasury Committee, which is investigating the activities of private equity, Richard Lambert, CBI director-general, said charges that the sector were 'ruthless asset strippers' practising 'casino capitalism' were ill-founded.

However, he acknowledged that the tax treatment enjoyed by individual private equity executives and managers who ran private equity firms was a legitimate 'area of debate'.