Lobbying row: Cayman Islands cut ties with Tory peer Lord Blencathra by mutual consent after revelations by The Independent

Premier cites 'negative publicity' around the peer's appointment as director of the Caymans' Government Office in London as one of the reasons for ending the £12,000-a-month contract

The government of the Cayman Islands has terminated a lobbying contract with the Tory peer Lord Blencathra by mutual agreement after deciding that its terms were incompatible with new parliamentary rules.

The Independent and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed details last month of the £12,000-a-month contract, signed in 2011, which stipulated that the former Conservative Chief Whip would “make representations” promoting the Cayman Islands’ interests to MPs and peers as well as ministers.

The contract was later altered to state merely that he would make representations to key stakeholders. Lord Blencathra – formerly David Maclean – maintains that he never lobbied either MPs or peers on behalf of the tax haven, whatever the contract might say.

The Caymans’ premier, Alden McLaughlin, cited “negative publicity” around the peer’s appointment as director of the Cayman Islands Government Office in London as one of the reasons for ending the agreement. Mr McLaughlin told the local news service Cayman 27: “We have concluded the provision in the existing contract is in conflict with the rules and we have no choice but to terminate the agreement.” He added: “None of us like negative publicity and it’s not good for the Cayman Islands.”

The premier was visiting London last Monday when The Independent published details of the 2011 contract. Lord Blencathra is now facing a second investigation by the Lords Standards Commissioner over the claims, having himself referred the matter to the Commissioner.

The Commissioner, Paul Kernaghan, scrutinised the peer in 2012 after the original lobbying allegations were printed in The Independent. He found there was “no evidence that Lord Blencathra exercised parliamentary influence on behalf of the Cayman Islands” or provided parliamentary services for gain.

But the Commissioner did not examine the peer’s contract as part of that inquiry.

After the Bureau revealed that the contract, worth more than £140,000 per year,  required the peer to promote Cayman interests to MPs, Lord Blencathra referred himself to Mr Kernaghan for a fresh investigation, which is now under way. “My compliance with the law, or Lords rules, takes precedence over anything which was in my contract,” he said last month. “I made clear that I would not be lobbying Parliament or MPs. Indeed, even that initial contract made no mention of lobbying. That was firmly understood between us.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

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

Recruitment Genius: HR Advisor

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an innovative a...

Recruitment Genius: Production Technician

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Production Technician is required to join a ...

Recruitment Genius: Network Support Engineer - Hosted Telecommunications

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for a Ne...

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor / Partner - Cheltenham

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: A very rare high level opportunity with a fir...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower