An official inquiry into MG Rover may be scrapped because of a wall of silence surrounding the car-maker's demise.

The Trade and Industry Select Committee has issued a final appeal for evidence into the sale of Rover by BMW in 2000, and events leading up to the firm's closure in April last year.

Committee members are frustrated that those involved in the events which led to the closure of Rover's Longbridge plant are unwilling to give an account of what happened in public.

Some have spoken in detail privately to committee members, but refuse to provide the written evidence the inquiry needs.

Evidence has not been received from Alchemy, the consortium which failed to buy Rover from BMW, or from BMW itself.

Phoenix Venture Holdings, which acquired Rover for #10 and has been accused by some critics of failing to manage it successfully, has submitted a list of questions rather than an account of what happened.

Officials advising the Department of Trade and Industry have also been reluctant to come forward in public.

The inquiry chairman, MP Peter Luff (Con Mid Worcestershire), admitted it might be impossible to proceed with the investigation.

However, there had been no shortages of witnesses willing to talk about the work of the Rover Taskforce, which the committee is also investigating, he said.

"Given the numerous expressions of interest in our inquiry, I am surprised and frankly disappointed by how few people and organisations have sent written evidence to the committee on the other aspects of the MG Rover saga.

"We are still happy to receive Memoranda on the Government's response to MG Rover's difficulties between 2000 and 2005. This is an inquiry which has been widely welcomed in the Birmingham area and in the financial media, but at present we do not have the kind of evidence base necessary to enable it to succeed. I hope this extension will change that."

The inquiry was also looking at the success of the Government's recovery package for the Rover workforce and the West Midlands economy, he said.

This issue had become even more relevant following Peugeot's announcement that it is to close its Coventry factory, with the loss of 2,300 jobs, and TVR's plans to close its factory in Blackpool, he said.

This part of the investigation would continue, and is expected to include hearings in Birmingham, he said. The committee usually meets in Westminster.