Announcing its Scale for Good manifesto in 2013, Tesco admitted trust among its supplier base was lacking, and vowed to build “strong supplier partnerships.” In light of this week’s revelations these are haunting words. And while we’ve heard reports of aggressive auditing, lengthy invoice queries and outrageous demands for one-off payments, not only is this nothing new at Tesco, we also understand that, under commercial director John Scouler, relations were more constructive.

“The Cheshunt Four have been treated appallingly by the media”

Adam Leyland, Editor

Whether best intentions have broken down amid an alarming deterioration in sales, or disciplined accounting has disappeared in the extended absence of a CFO, it’s impossible to say. That hasn’t stopped the media from speculating - wildly and irresponsibly. Businesses regularly smooth out results. And it’s not as if this money is missing. Yet to see the way Scouler, Chris Bush, Matt Simister and Carl Rogberg have been treated in the press - with pictures of their houses and their wives - you would think they are convicted criminals.

Who knows how this inquiry will end? But we will assume the Cheshunt Four are innocent until proved guilty.