If Wednesday night's interview on Channel 4 News was a disaster for A4e owner Emma Harrison, she hasn't given up. Yesterday she appeared in a filmed interview for the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire edition of the Sunday Politics on BBC TV. You can find it here, 36 mins and 30 secs in. The introduction managed to get the facts wrong. She was said to have resigned after criticism of her success rate. That was only part of it, of course. It was the publicity about fraud which exercises Harrison. "The newspaper headlines were so wrong and so inflammatory," she said. The accusations were "proved not to be true". Hang on. There were instances of fraud by A4e staff, just as there were by staff of other w2w companies. Their own 2009 internal report showed probable fraud. And the Slough case goes back to court this Wednesday. But if Harrison says something often enough it must be true. She says that it took a lot of nerve to stand up to the bullies. A brief clip of John Healey MP shows him referring to "huge personal payment" for Harrison, but that wasn't put to her. Apropos the leaked numbers, we did learn something interesting. She said they "aren't meaningful" because there's now 18 months worth of data. Does this mean, as we suspected, that the long delay in publishing the figures was so that the DWP could put out 18 months worth rather than 12, because it's got a bit better? The interview was heavily edited. Back in the studio, there was a brief discussion between two MPs. The Conservative, Craig Whittaker, stuck to the line that payment by results is the best model because if the companies don't succeed they don't get paid. He doesn't appear to have considered what happens to the clients. The Labour MP Fabian Hamilton said that he didn't like PBR when his own government introduced it, and thinks the fact that the owner of a company can take £8m out of it shows it isn't working. He would like to see civil servants trained to do the job.
Whether this last few days has been part of a determined effort at a come-back by Emma Harrison is hard to tell. I suspect the company would rather it wasn't.