Mrsa | Government Weighs Into 'blackmail' Row Over 3M And MRSA Test

The government has attacked a private equity boss for threatening to use his political muscle to ” blackmail ” the head of one of America’s biggest companies.

The Ministry of Defence hit out at Harvey Boulter, chief executive of Porton Capital, for allegedly claiming he would use his government influence to interfere with a knighthood awarded to the British-born chief executive of Post-it note maker 3M.

Boulter suggested he had the backing of the defence secretary, Liam Fox , when he allegedly demanded 3M pay $30m (18.5m) from 3M to settle a long-running court case over disputed payments for potentially life-saving MRSA technology part-owned by the MoD.

According to 3M’s lawyers, Boulter told them that if the case were not settled out of court, the government might reconsider a knighthood recently awarded to George Buckley, 3M’s chief executive officer.

The US firm has launched a countersuit accusing Porton Capital and Boulter personally of “blackmail”.

The MoD has distanced itself from Boulter and refused to rule out launching its own legal action against him, for bringing the government into disrepute.

“Dr Fox met with Mr Boulter to discuss an entirely different matter. At no point did he enter into any discussion about this legal case, nor was there any mention of anyone’s knighthood,” the MoD said.

The legal battle centres on emails Boulter sent to 3M lawyers 10 days ago.

“As a result of my meeting [with Liam

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