Evidence on Cayman Islands lobbying that is worth a second look

 

Share

It is now two years since The Independent revealed that the former Conservative minister Lord Blencathra was lobbying for money on behalf of the Cayman Islands government.

At the time our allegations, which led to an investigation by the Lords Commissioner for Standards, were strenuously denied by the peer. He told us we had “confused lobbying Parliament, which I do not do, with lobbying the Government, which I do”.

He reiterated this to the commissioner, Paul Kernaghan, stating: “None of my work involves lobbying Parliament or seeking to influence either House. I made that clear when I took on the role that I would not do that.”

It led the commissioner to conclude that “no evidence has been presented that he provided parliamentary advice or services”. 

What a pity Lord Blencathra did not hand over a copy of the contract he signed to help the commissioner in his deliberations. Because that seems to envisage a rather different state of affairs.

In an annex – setting out the services he will provide as part of the £12,000-a-month deal – it states clearly that he will promote the Cayman Islands’ interests by “making representations to UK ministers, the FCO, members of Parliament in the House of Commons and members of the House of Lords”. That sounds a lot like lobbying.

Lord Blencathra’s explanation now is that, while he signed the contract, it was accepted by both parties that he would not be doing so. 

“I made clear that I would not be lobbying Parliament or MPs… That was firmly understood between us,” he said. So why put it in the  contract in the first place?

And why, if the position is clear, have the clause taken out of a revised contract that was signed after The Independent and Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s original article?

The case may now be  reopened and, if so, Lord Blencathra will have some more explaining to do.

For the sake of his  reputation and that of the House of Lords, it had  better be less contradictory than it has been so far.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

£30 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL) i...

Guru Careers: Account Executive

£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive is needed to join one...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Software Engineer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Software Engineer i...

Reach Volunteering: Volunteer Trustee with Healthcare expertise

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Queen Elizabeth delivers the Queen's Speech next to Prince Phillip during the State Opening of Parliament in the Palace of Westminster in London  

A Queen's Speech which exposed this government for what it really is — Thatcherism with the lid on

James Bloodworth
Fifa president Sepp Blatter  

Fifa corruption arrests: A syndicate so removed from reality that it may yet destroy the thing it loves

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf