Software house CSC has been forced to scrap its broker conference at the last minute, blaming the decision on bad weather and possible fuel shortages.

But Barker denied the departure last week of managing director David Rasche and a review of CSC's UK operations was behind the cancellation.

"Absolutely not," he said. "The decision was totally independent of that. In preparation for the conference we planned for several different scenarios."

Barker said that CSC's core message would have been the same, regardless of Rasche's departure.

CSC had already registered more than 200 delegates for the one-day event that was due to take place on November 28. Between 350 and 400 brokers were expected to attend.

Marketing director Tony Barker refused to say how much the cancellation had cost the software house although he admitted "tens of thousands of pounds" had been invested.

Barker said: "We started doing a ring-round and we got the vibe back that people might not be able to come because of the recent bad weather and the amount of work it has created.

A lot said they definitely would not come if there was another fuel crisis as well."