Shamed Woodford told to hand back his CBE after fund collapse left hundreds nursing losses

Frustrated investors who lost out in the collapse of Neil Woodford’s firm have called on the Government to strip the disgraced investment guru of his CBE.

The campaign group, called Transparency Task Force, works with around 700 people who were left nursing losses in the collapse of the stock picker’s Woodford Investment Fund five years ago.

Woodford, 64, was appointed a CBE for services to the economy in June 2013. He was once described as Britain’s answer to Warren Buffet.

But he had a spectacular fall from grace when his eponymous fund, which managed £3.7billion, collapsed in 2019 after he decided to invest in small, unlisted growth companies. 

Thousands of investors were left out of pocket following the collapse. In February, a High Court judge approved a £230million redress scheme for investors trapped by the collapse of the fund.

Disgraced: Neil Woodford, 64, was appointed a CBE for services to the economy in June 2013. He was once described as Britain’s answer to Warren Buffet

Andy Agathangelou, founder of the Transparency Task Force, said: ‘Regardless of the qualities that led to Neil Woodford’s inclusion in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List, many would argue that his behaviour leading up to the closure of his flagship investment fund in 2019, and since, would surely not attract similar approbation.’

He added that Woodford ‘seems to have accepted no formal responsibility, showed very little genuine remorse or made any meaningful effort to remedy the situation’. 

He added: ‘His continuing to profit personally as the seriousness of the situation unfolded make him unworthy to continue holding the CBE.’

Last month, Woodford broke his silence with the launch of a new investment blog.

In his maiden post, he addressed head-on his collapsed business. He said he is ‘neither hero nor villain’ and claimed he was treated harshly by the financial establishment and media.

Ian Duffield, 70, who lost hundreds of thousands of pounds alongside his wife, Linda, told The Mail he felt ‘betrayed’ by Woodford after the ‘nightmare’ scandal. 

He said: ‘A CBE is supposed to be given to people on the understanding that they will continue to be an example going forward to people.

‘It can only be right that this CBE is forfeited because of the distress caused and financial damage he has done to hundreds of thousands of ordinary people like Linda and I, who trusted him with their money.’

Although individuals can state they would like their title to be returned, it is the King and his Honours Forfeiture Committee who ultimately have this power.

Earlier this year, former Post Office boss Paula Vennells said she wanted to hand back her CBE amid an outcry over the Horizon IT scandal.