Labour peer joins recruitment firm

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The Independent Online
TOM SAWYER, the former general secretary of the Labour Party, is to become a director of a firm tipped to take over the Employment Service.

Lord Sawyer, who was given a peerage after retiring last year, has become a director of Reed Executive.

The chief executive of Reed, Alec Reed, has made donations to Labour reported to be in the region of pounds 100,000.

Lord Sawyer told the Tribune newspaper that he would not be lobbying for Reed, but would be working as a consultant on training issues. He was the first non-executive director of Investors in People and is actively involved in the Cranfield Business School.

"It's a logical career move," he said. "I have the best attendance record at the House of Lords, at 95 per cent."

The Reed recruitment agency has more than 250 branches nationwide and has three subsidiaries, Reed Online, Reed Management Training and Reed Psychometric Testing Services.

It is already running programmes under the New Deal and is believed to have a good chance of winning a contract to run the Employment Service if it is privatised.

Lord Sawyer came from the left of the Labour Party and was deputy general secretary of the National Union of Public Employees before leaving to work for the Labour Party.