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1992 Matrix Churchill

Four directors of the British machine tools manufacturer, Matrix Churchill, put on trial for supplying equipment and knowledge to Iraq. Trial collapsed when its revealed the company had been advised by the government on how to sell arms to Iraq. Ministers fear the whistleblower may go public.

1990 BCCI collapses

Auditors find millions missing at BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International) a year before the bank collapses in a £13 billion scandal, BCCI’s auditors find a huge hole in the accounts

1988 Clapham Junction rail disaster

On 12 December, a crowded train crashed into the rear of a train that had stopped at a signal killing 35 people and injuring 500. The inquiry found drivers who noticed an anomaly to a new signalling system, did not stop to report it. High standards of testing were introduced following the disaster.

1988 Maxwell Pension scandal

Media tycoon Robert Maxwell sacks and silences whistleblower Harry Templeton for repeatedly challenging his misuse of the pension fund. This comes out in 1992 after Maxwell’s theft of £400m from the fund.

1986 Space Shuttle Challenger

Explodes on take-off NASA ignores a clear warning from Morton Thiokol engineer Roger Boisjoly about the impending disaster.