'These are the people Labour was set up to defend': MP Frank Field launches a crusade to help victims of Wonga

Mail On Sunday - 02 Sep 2018

Frank Field took time out from his war with Left-wing activists yesterday to launch a new crusade – to help those people hit by the collapse of Wonga.

The MP, a lifelong anti-poverty campaigner, appealed to rich philanthropists to step in and assist hard-up individuals ordered to repay loans in full, even though the payday lender has gone bust.

And he urged administrators, City accountants Grant Thornton, not to ‘allow further exploitation of the poor’.

Mr Field said: ‘Of course people who are owed compensation by Wonga must be paid, but it is also vital to help those who have been informed every penny of loans taken out at outrageous rates of interest must be supported too.

‘Judging on past experience, Wonga’s loans book will be sold cheaply and a debt agency will make a lot of money of getting the loans back.

‘It is wrong for someone to profit out of this. I hope to put together a consortium of good people from business, charities and the church to help out.

‘If people who still owe thousands on modest loans could be spared paying back half or two-thirds, it would be wonderful. These are the people the Labour Party was set up to defend.’

Wonga, which used to pursue customers unable to pay interest rates of 5,000 per cent, went broke after running out of cash following a surge in mis-selling complaints. 

It owes more than £100 million to creditors. Grant Thornton will also take on borrowers’ debts. 

Simon Walters, Mail on Sunday