A Volkswagen board member has said some staff 'acted criminally' in the emissions scandal.

Olaf Lies, who is also economy minister for Lower Saxony, told BBC Newsnight that those who installed the so-called 'defeat device' to cheat emissions tests and those who allowed it to happen must take responsibility for their actions.

More than 11 million Volkswagen vehicles are understood to have cheated the emissions test. And 1.2 million are affected in the UK. The scandal is expected to cost the German car manufacturer billions.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Lies said: "Those people who allowed this to happen, or who made the decision to install this software - they acted criminally. They must take personal responsibility.

"We only found out about the problems in the last board meeting, shortly before the media did. I want to be quite open. So we need to find out why the board wasn't informed earlier about the problems when they were known about over a year ago in the United States."