As if the previous ruckus over her CV were not enough, Tory leadership hopeful Andrea Leadsom has seen her record of work experience examined a little more closely, only to find that there is even more in it that does not stand up the claims made by her supporters. This comes hard on the heels of her having to make a humiliating apology to Home Secretary Theresa May over her “motherhood” comments.
Ms Leadsom had already been caught out claiming to have been made “Head of UK banking for Barclays” at the age of just 32 - which would have been quite an achievement - only to quietly drop the claim when her CV was finally published. Then she asserted that Barclays “paid her to go quietly” in 1999 - but it then transpired that she had already left the firm two years earlier. And then came Invesco Perpetual.
As the Mail told, “Bernard Jenkin, a prominent backbench supporter, waxed lyrical about her work at Invesco Perpetual, the company that employed her from 1999-2009, speaking of her experience running ‘a large investment firm where she was responsible for managing hundreds of people and billions of pounds’”. The “managing hundreds of people and billions of pounds” claim was soon exposed as a pack of lies.
But now it gets worse, and solely because of Ms Leadsom’s own candour, expressed during two Westminster Hall debates. Here, she admitted that her time at Invesco Perpetual did not involve managing anyone else, or indeed managing money.
This is what she said about that job in 2011: “The past 10 years of my career were happily spent in a funds management organisation at senior level, but with no prospects of promotion because I was working part time. I recognised that and was happy to pay the price because being a mum has always been the most important thing in my life”. The “being a mum” trowelled on once again. And she was ONLY PART TIME.
And what did that part time job entail? This from another Westminster Hall debate in February last year: “I am very grateful to the hon. Lady for giving me the opportunity to say that for the last 10 years of my career at Invesco Perpetual, I was responsible for writing a quantitative bonus scheme that measured the performance of fund managers over three, five and 10 years according to the performance of the team, the business and the individual, which involved clawbacks, as appropriate. I started that work in 1999 and finished it in 2009, so I can say with confidence that I did my bit on remuneration”.
Not only was Ms Leadsom working only part time, she admits that she had no management responsibility whatsoever, neither for people, nor for money. She was doing useful work - that is not in any doubt - but all that she was doing was compiling a bonus scheme for the people who really were managing people and money. She was an administrator. So why did she not come clean and say so at the outset?
Prime Ministers don’t get very far if they indulge in the kind of falsehood and misinformation practiced by Andrea Leadsom. I’ll just leave that one there.