Creative embellishment of the CV. Everyone does it, that little light exaggeration that makes its author look that bit more important, more deserving of that higher salary or hourly rate. It’s harmless, providing that author is up to doing the job, doesn’t cause any damage, and doesn’t get rumbled. And that is where Tory leadership hopeful Andrea Leadsom finds herself right now - exposed as a deceitful fraud.
Andrea Leadsom - caught bang to rights
Ms Leadsom had paraded her supposed financial expertise before the electorate in the run-up to the EU referendum, reassuring voters by telling them “Sterling has really not moved since the Prime Minister announced the starting gun for the referendum [!]. So my best expectation, with my 30 years of financial experience, is that there will not be an economic impact” [my emphasis]. An appeal to an authority she did not possess.
It was the current edition of Private Eye magazine (issue 1422) that first alerted the world to the mildly inconvenient fact that all was not well with Ms Leadsom’s CV, noting that she talked of “running Barclays’ investment banking team” in the 1990s, adding “when it was a notorious tax avoidance factory that was shut down in the wake of the [financial] crisis”. The Eye also outlined her links to an offshore hedge fund.
It now seems that Master Emmanuel Strobes and his team were not the only ones on Ms Leadsom’s case: the Murdoch Times - Don Rupioni’s preferred Tory leader is Michael “Oiky” Gove, who worked at the same paper for many years - has today told readers “Leadsom admits ‘misleading’ claims on CV for top job”, going on to tell “Andrea Leadsom has no experience as an investment banker despite claims from her backers that she managed billions of pounds worth of funds”. Or, as some people call it, lying.
Ms Leadsom’s apologist Bernard Jenkin has told of her role at “a large investment firm where she was responsible for managing hundreds of people and billions of pounds”. But the Times points out that “During ten years at the investment fund Invesco Perpetual, from 1999 to 2009, she did not have any role in managing funds or advising clients”.
The Times names a colleague of Ms Leadsom’s at Invesco Perpetual, Robert Stevens, as saying “she did not manage any teams, large or small, and she certainly did not manage any funds” throughout her time with that company.
The article goes on to correct the claim that she was “Managing director” of that offshore hedge fund, de Putron Fund Management, from 1997 to 1999. She was registered in company documents as its marketing director.
Then the coup de grace: an unnamed former colleague is quoted as saying “We probably all at different times in different circumstances describe ourselves in particular ways which might be interpreted by somebody as stretching the point”. Ouch!
For any credible business person, being caught blatantly falsifying a CV would be career ending. What Andrea Leadsom has done - using experience she did not have to claim an authority she did not possess in order to persuade the public to vote in a particular manner - was fraudulent, and should have the same effect on her political career.
The game is up for Andrea Leadsom and her phoney CV.