Ex-Blair aide in expenses fraud works for top lobbyist - News - The Independent

Ex-Blair aide in expenses fraud works for top lobbyist

A LOBBYIST who worked for Tony Blair during the general election campaign left a top job in government relations where he had been caught fiddling expenses and forging his boss's signature.

Tim Fallon left BAA, formerly the British Airports Authority, in February and now works for a leading political consultancy, advising clients on how to deal with ministers.

Mr Fallon is a director at Lowe Bell Political, the company set up by Sir Tim Bell, Baroness Thatcher's public relations guru and image maker. While at BAA as head of government relations, one of Mr Fallon's tasks was to persuade ministers to give approval to widening of the M25 in order to make a fifth terminal at Heathrow feasible. Approval was announced yesterday.

Mr Fallon worked for the company for about two years. During the election campaign, he was seconded to Mr Blair's office. Within months of his return to BAA, however, questions were raised about claims on his corporate American Express card.

On 16 February, at the time of his departure, Sheila Clark, BAA head of human resources, told him the company wanted to reclaim from his pension contributions "monies outstanding to BAA which were the result of false claims made by yourself on your company credit card ... This may be a useful way of assisting you in paying back a portion of pounds 1,570."

The Independent has established that Mr Fallon signed a form on 2 March authorising the deductions "... as a result of false accounting in respect of my BAA company credit card".

Des Wilson, director of corporate and public affairs at BAA, said Mr Fallon's departure had been planned for some time, was amicable and had nothing to do with expenses irregularities. Mr Fallon was repaying a "company loan".

"At the time Tim was leaving there were discrepancies in expenses that had as much as anything to do with the fact that we had been incredibly busy and had not conformed with procedures," he said.

Stephen Sherbourne, chairman of Bell Pottinger, the parent company of Lowe Bell Political, said Mr Fallon had resigned only because Bell Pottinger offered him a job.

However, The Independent has obtained details of a draft statement written by Mr Fallon in which he said: "I took it upon myself to enter explanations for lunches/dinners that were not accurate. Whereas these claims were genuine business expenses, the explanations were misleading. Associated with this mis-administration of my statements was the fact that on occasions ... I authorised these claims forms myself, signing off in Andrew Currie's name." Mr Currie is an assistant director of BAA's corporate and public affairs department.

"This is something I am particularly ashamed of," wrote Mr Fallon. "The final main area of wrong-doing is that on certain occasions I have used my Amex card to pay for personal expenses. For some of these expenses, I have declared them and I have paid the company back in full. For others I have not and have failed to declare them truthfully.

"This practice is dishonest and wholly wrong ... I cannot adequately explain the deep sense of regret I feel. Regret that I have let down my company and regret that I have let down colleagues who over the last couple of years have helped, nurtured and supported me."

Further, while apologising profusely, Mr Fallon said: "I do not want to leave this company." He failed to return calls yesterday.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week