TORY MP CONCEALED LINK TO MILIBAND TORMENTOR

.
 

TORY MP Andrew Jones failed to declare an interest in a company owned by controversial Leeds businesswoman Catherine Shuttleworth.

Shuttleworth hit the headlines in last week’s BBC Question Time when she attacked Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough in the last Parliament, helped Shuttleworth set up her marketing business in May 2006.

ANDREW JONES THE MP worked with Catherine Shuttleworth in the late 1990s and was company secretary of her marketing business until 2010. But he didn't tell Parliament about their links ... Photo:

NOT SAVVY
THE MP worked with Catherine Shuttleworth in the late 1990s and was company secretary of her Get Savvy Marketing company until 2010. But he didn’t tell Parliament about the appointment — he says he took no payment from the company after he was elected. 

He was company secretary for more than four years.

He should have declared his interest when he was elected an MP in the May 2010 General Election.

He didn’t do so.

Press Gang investigates the links between an MP and a marketing executive …

♦♦♦

IT WAS the Daily Mail which prompted this inquiry.

The paper lionised Catherine Shuttleworth after she savaged Ed Miliband on Question Time last Thursday over the economy.

She volunteered to be a member of the Question Time audience as an “undecided” voter but declared she was going to vote Conservative during her exchange with the Labour leader.

The Daily Mail hailed her as “the woman who shredded Red Ed”.

It continued:

“How marketing company boss used laser-like precision to lead audience attack on Labour leader.”

However, Twitter comments began revealing that she had signed a letter from 5,025 small businesses to the Daily Telegraph backing the Tories just four days before the programme.

SCAMP Catherine Shuttleworth started her company in 2006 under the name Scamp Marketing. In 2011 she told the Yorkshire Post the company had a turnover of £6.5 million and 70 staff. In December 2013 the company had cash in the bank of £382,000. Photo: BBC

SCAMP
Catherine Shuttleworth started her company in 2006 under the name Scamp Marketing. In 2011 she told the Yorkshire Post Get Savvy Marketing had a turnover of £6.5 million and 70 staff. In December 2013 the company had cash in the bank of £382,000.
Photo: BBC

The letter was clear:

“We would like to see David Cameron and George Osborne given the chance to finish what they have started.”

Other tweets also revealed she’d started her Leeds-based marketing company with Andrew Jones MP.

The Daily Mail allowed Shuttleworth to answer these criticisms in an Exclusive interview on May 1.

The paper asked her if she was a Tory.

“Oh God no,” she replied.

“I’ve never been a member of any political party and I do not intend to be.”

“I’m not a Tory at all. It’s absolute nonsense. Absolutely not, categorically no.”

She signed the Telegraph letter from small businesses:

” … because I agreed with it. I have never done anything like that before.”

She explained how Andrew Jones — Tory MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough and a candidate in tomorrow’s General Election — came to be involved in her business Get Savvy Marketing.

She told the paper:

“Fifteen years ago I worked with Andrew in another business.”

“When I set my business up nine years ago a number of people helped me to do different things and Andrew helped me do some of that.”

“That was long before his political career started.”

“There is no connection, he literally set some stuff up.”

The Daily Mail article was so uncritical of Shuttleworth that Press Gang decided to investigate.

We found most of her comments do not stand up to serious examination …

♦♦♦

WHEN CATHERINE Shuttleworth was an 18-year-old student, she was super-confident.
 
“Never in my whole life have I thought I couldn’t do something,” she told the Yorkshire Post in 2011. 
 
Her “back-up plan”, she told her interviewer, was to be Prime Minister.
 

She didn’t say which party she would be leading …

QUESTIONABLE TIME  DAVID DIMBLEBY should have been sharper during the exchange between the allegedly

QUESTIONABLE TIME
DAVID DIMBLEBY might have been sharper during the exchange between the allegedly “undecided” Shuttleworth and Ed Miliband. When she attacked the Labour leader — over the note Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne left for his successor in 2010 saying: “I’m afraid there is no money” — Dimbleby could have reminded viewers that the Tories have also made similar jokes. In 1964 Tory Chancellor Reginald Maudling left a note to his successor James Callaghan which said: “Good luck, old cock … Sorry to leave it in such a mess.”
Photo: BBC

Shuttleworth went to school in Sheffield and studied retail marketing at Manchester Polytechnic.After working at Allied Carpets and Dixons, she came back to Yorkshire in 1994 when her partner Neal Austin got a job with supermarket group ASDA.

Shuttleworth went to run a marketing company which did work for ASDA.

By 2003, she and her husband were moving up in the world.

They bought a detached house in Weeton Avenue, Leeds for £535,000.

In 2006, her husband left ASDA to become a senior executive at rival Morrisons. 

In the same year, Shuttleworth set up Get Savvy Marketing after winning a big contract from ASDA.

The company secretary was Andrew Jones — the man who would later become Tory MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough.

Jones had spent 25 years in sales and marketing with firms like B&Q, Superdrug, Going Places and Taylors of Harrogate. 

The pair had already worked together.

Jones was never a shareholder in Get Savvy Marketing and Shuttleworth, who began with three-quarters of the shares, soon owned them all. 

But when she told the Daily Mail —

“When I set my business up nine years ago a number of people helped me to do different things and Andrew helped me do some of that.”

“That was long before his political career started.” 

— she wasn’t telling the truth.

Andrew Jones joined the Conservative Party in 1987.

A decade later he was already a well-known figure in Conservative circles and chaired the influential think-tank, the Bow Group, in 1999-2000.

In 2001 he unsuccessfully contested the Harrogate and Knaresbrough constituency. In 2003 he was elected a Tory councillor on Harrogate Borough Council — and rose to become Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources.

He was still company secretary of Get Savvy Marketing when he became an MP …

♦♦♦

WHEN NEW MPs are elected to Parliament, they are expected to declare their financial interests.When Andrew Jones entered the House in 2010, the relevant Code of Conduct stated that its purpose was

” … providing the openness and accountability necessary to reinforce public confidence … ”

“Members are required to complete a registration form and submit it … within one month of their election to the House … ”

Any change must be registered within 28 days.

NON-DECLARATION ANDREW JONES' entry in the 2010 Register of Members' Financial Interests. There is no declaration of  his role in Catherine Shuttleworth's company. All he admits to is receiving £872 as a Harrogate Borough councillor in his first two months as an MP.

NON-DECLARATION
ANDREW JONES’ entry in the 2010 Register of Members’ Financial Interests. There is no declaration of his role in Catherine Shuttleworth’s company. All he admits to is receiving £872 as a Harrogate Borough councillor in his first two months as an MP.

The first register of the 2010-2015 Parliament was published on 25 October 2010.

The only entry under Category 2 —  “Remunerated employment, office, profession, etc …” — is Jones’ payments as a Harrogate councillor.

He did not resign from Get Savvy Marketing until the following month.

A spokeswoman for the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Hudson, told Press Gang:

“During dissolution (i.e. until after the General Election) the Commissioner cannot look at any allegations of breaches of the rules.”

Press Gang will lodge a complaint once the election is over.

We asked Andrew Jones for a comment.

There was no reply by the time this piece was posted in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

However, later that morning he emailed the following statement:

“MPs are required to declare outside earnings in the Register of Members’

Financial Interests, to detail who employed them, how much money was earned, how many hours worked and the nature of the work.From the date I was elected onwards I did no work for the Company, so
therefore received no remuneration. To be clear, while the paperwork and
administrative arrangements were made for terminating my role as Company Secretary and putting in place new arrangements for the Company I did no work and therefore received no payments or benefits of any kind.Had I done so my understanding is that a declaration would have been
required and I would have made such a declaration. There was nothing to
declare, so the Register of Members’ Financial Interests is complete and
correct.”

Press Gang also asked Harrogate Borough Council for the last declaration Andrew Jones made when he was a councillor.We were interested to see if he’d declared his role in Get Savvy Marketing.

After seven hours Giles Latham — the authority’s Communication and Marketing Manager (Organisational Development and Improvement) — came back to say the council couldn’t find it.

We then asked for copies of all Andrew Jones’ declarations during the years he served.

Latham came back to say that this — and other questions — would be considered under the Freedom of Information rules.

This gives the authority up to four working weeks to reply …

♦♦♦

PRESS GANG also emailed Catherine Shuttleworth.

We asked about her false comment to the Daily Mail that Andrew Jones’ involvement in Get Savvy Marketing took place long before he became a politician.

There was no reply by the time this article was posted. 

♦♦♦

Published: 6 May 2015
© Press Gang 

♦♦♦ 

NEXT
DOWN IN THE GUTTER
A FORENSIC examination of Piers Morgan’s celebrated appearance on Desert Island Discs in 2009. He told presenter Kirsty Young phone hacking was one of the “down in the gutter” tactics used on the Daily Mirror.

What he didn’t tell her was that she, too, had been a target of the paper’s “gutter” tactics. In 1998 the paper mounted a surveillance operation to prove she was having an affair with a married man.
The story is also pregnant with the possibility it was based on phone hacking …

 ♦♦♦

JOIN THE GANGBUSTERS …
THERE’S A need for a trustworthy website to expose rogue reporters. Press Gang is that outlet — fearless and fair. Join us by becoming a gangbuster and help pay some of our expenses. Just hit the button …

Donate Button with Credit Cards

CORRECTIONS
Please let us know if there are any mistakes in this article — they’ll be corrected as soon as possible.

RIGHT OF REPLY
If you have been mentioned in this article and disagree with it, please let us have your comments. Provided your response is not defamatory we’ll add it to the article.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , ,

One Response to “TORY MP CONCEALED LINK TO MILIBAND TORMENTOR”

  1. Stuff to Share | aspiblog Says:

    […] Press Gang UK offer an excellent post about Catherine Shuttleworth, ‘undecided voter’ […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: