5 Rt Hon Richard Caborn |
to Rt Hon Richard Caborn MP from the Commissioner, 31 March 2010
I would welcome your help on a complaint I have received
from Mr Greg Hands MP about your conduct in respect of an interview
you gave to an undercover reporter, in respect of an alleged possible
I attach the complainant's letter of 28 March inasmuch
as it affects the complaint against you. I know you will have
seen the Sunday Times
report of 28 March on which this complaint is based.
In essence, the complaint is that you may have been
engaged in lobbying activities in a way which is contrary to the
rules of the House; that your conduct during an interview with
a person who subsequently revealed herself as a journalist was
contrary to the rules; that that conduct was not such as to maintain
or strengthen the public's trust in the integrity of Parliament;
and that it brought the House of Commons into disrepute.
The Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament provides
the following rules of Conduct:
"9. Members shall base their conduct on a
consideration of the public interest, avoid conflict between personal
interest and the public interest and resolve any conflict between
the two, at once, and in favour of the public interest.
10. No Member shall act as a paid advocate in
any proceeding of the House.
11. The acceptance by a Member of a bribe to influence
his or her conduct as a Member, including any fee, compensation
or reward in connection with the promotion of, or opposition to,
any Bill, Motion, or other matter submitted, or intended to be
submitted to the House, or to any Committee of the House, is contrary
to the law of Parliament.
12. In any activities with, or on behalf of, an
organisation with which a Member has a financial relationship,
including activities which may not be a matter of public record
such as informal meetings and functions, he or she must always
bear in mind the need to be open and frank with Ministers, Members
13. Members must bear in mind that information
which they receive in confidence in the course of their parliamentary
duties should be used only in connection with those duties, and
that such information must never be used for the purpose of financial
15. Members shall at all times conduct themselves
in a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public's
trust and confidence in the integrity of Parliament and never
undertake any action which would bring the House of Commons, or
its Members generally, into disrepute."
The Code provides also in respect of the registration
and declaration of interests as follows:
"16. Members shall fulfil conscientiously
the requirements of the House in respect of the registration of
interests in the Register of Members' Interests and shall always
draw attention to any relevant interest in any proceeding of the
House or its Committees, or in any communications with Ministers,
Government Departments or Executive Agencies."
The Guide to the Rules sets out categories of registrable
interests including Category 2 as follows:
"Remunerated employment, office, profession,
etc: Employment, office, trade, profession or vocation (apart
from membership of the House or ministerial office) which is remunerated
or in which the Member has any financial interest. Membership
of Lloyd's should be registered under this Category."
The rules in relation to Category 2 set out in the
Guide for 2005 (which may be the one most relevant to this part
of the complaint) include the following in paragraph 19:
"All employment outside the House and any
sources of remuneration which do not fall clearly within any other
Category should be registered here if the value of the remuneration
exceeds 1 per cent of the current parliamentary salary. When registering
employment, Members should not simply state the employer company
and the nature of its business, but should also indicate the nature
of the post which they hold in the company or the services for
which the company remunerates them. Members who have paid posts
as consultants or advisers should indicate the nature of the consultancy,
for example 'management consultant', 'legal adviser', 'parliamentary
and public affairs consultant'."
The Guide to the Rules also sets out the requirements
where a Member has an agreement for the provision of services
in his or her capacity as a Member of Parliament. It includes
"Any Member proposing to enter into an agreement
which involves the provision of services in his capacity as a
Member of Parliament shall conclude such an agreement only if
it conforms to the Resolution of the House of 6th November 1995
relating to Conduct of Members; and a full copy of any such agreement
including the fees or benefits payable in bands of: up to £5,000,
£5,001-£10,000, and thereafter in bands of £5,000,
shall be deposited with the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
at the same time as it is registered in the Register of Members'
Interests and made available for inspection and reproduction by
More detailed provisions are set out in paragraph
49 to 54 of the 2005 guide.
Section 2 of the 2005 Guide deals with the Declaration
of Members' Interests. You may wish to read this in full. Paragraph
55 of the 2005 Guide provides as follows:
"In 1974 the House replaced a long standing
convention with a rule that any relevant pecuniary interest or
benefit of whatever nature, whether direct or indirect, should
be declared in debate, or other proceeding. The same rule places
a duty on Members to disclose to Ministers, or servants of the
Crown, all relevant interests. The term 'servants of the Crown'
should be interpreted as applying to the staff of executive agencies
as well as to all staff employed in government departments."
The rules in relation to lobbying for reward or consideration
are set out in section 3 of the Guide. You will wish to read this
Paragraph 72 of the 2005 Guide provides as follows:
"This Resolution prohibits paid advocacy.
It is wholly incompatible with the rule that any Member should
take payment for speaking in the House. Nor may a Member, for
payment, vote, ask a Parliamentary Question, table a Motion, introduce
a Bill or table or move an Amendment to a Motion or Bill or urge
colleagues or Ministers to do so."
Paragraph 73 provides:
"The Resolution does not prevent a Member
from holding a remunerated outside interest as a director, consultant,
or adviser, or in any other capacity, whether or not such interests
are related to membership of the House. Nor does it prevent a
Member from being sponsored by a trade union or any other organisation,
or holding any other registrable interest, or from receiving hospitality
in the course of his or her parliamentary duties whether in the
United Kingdom or abroad."
I would welcome your comments on the allegations
made against you in the light of this summary of the rules. In
particular, it would be helpful if you could:
1. Give me a full account of the circumstances in
which you came to be interviewed by someone who subsequently revealed
herself to be a journalist;
2. Confirm what you are reported to have said during
that interview, and whether each such statement is true in particular
in relation to the following:
a. That you said, "There's a number of ways
in which you can influence or at least access Ministers, whether
it's a sector or an individual company, or what. And also on policy
as well." and, if true, whether that should be interpreted
as an offer to influence or access Ministers once you had left
the House, and whether you have at any time influenced or accessed
Ministers on behalf of a sector or an individual company, and,
if so, what were the circumstances, and whether you declared your
b. That you said that you might be elevated to the
House of Lords and, if so, you would be able to help the fictitious
company with "Access
all this is all about contacts
so much always about influencingit's about getting information,"
and if true, whether this implied that you were offering to the
company as a Member of the Lords access to your contacts and information;
c. That you said that one of your clients, the Fitness
Industry Association, had "direct
access" to health Ministers and,
if true, whether you arranged that access, and, if so, what were
the circumstances and whether you declared your interest in so
d. That in respect of another of your clients, AMEC,
you said, "I connect
them in. If they want a reception in the House of Commons and
if they want
. to get advice from government, then I get
advice from government and I introduce them to people," if
true, what receptions and other meetings you have set up for AMEC
including any on the parliamentary estate and whether on each
occasion you identified your interest;
e. That you said that you would be willing to help
build relations with civil servants after you had stood down and
that it would not be a problem to set up meetings with civil servants
and, if true, the basis on which you made these offers and whether
you have at any time set up meetings with civil servants on behalf
of a client, and if so, what were the circumstances and whether
you declared your interest;
f. That you told the interviewer that you charged
£2,500 a day for your services.
3. Confirm whether you have at any time been paid
£2,500 a day for consultancy or other services, and if so,
by whom and whether you registered these payments;
4. Confirm what subsequent communications you or
your legal advisers had with the reporters;
5. Confirm, if any of the allegations are true, whether
you considered you had an obligation to make a Register entry
or declaration, or both, in respect of any financial interest
you had in these alleged activities and what action you took accordingly;
6. Confirm, if any of what you said was untrue, why
you spoke as you did.
Any other points you may wish to make to help me
with this inquiry would, of course, be most welcome.
I am writing to the Channel 4 programme makers to
invite them to let me have your full interview and, if they do
so, I may need to ask you about further points.
I would be grateful for a response to this letter
by the end of April. You will appreciate, I know, that we are
now very close to the Dissolution of Parliament. I do not expect,
therefore, to be able to conclude this inquiry before then. I
will, however, resume it once Parliament has been re-established
and I know I will be able to look to you for cooperation on this
after you have left the House.
I enclose a note which sets out the procedure I follow.
If you would like a word about any of this please contact me at
I look forward to your help on this matter.
31 March 2010
to the Commissioner from Rt Hon Richard Caborn, 19 April 2010
Thank you for your letter of the 31 March 2010, re:
the complaint from the Conservative MP, Mr Greg Hands. As I agreed
with you on the telephone, I would like to preface the answers
to your questions by giving you and your Committee a little background
on my 27 years in Parliament as it relates to the issues under
As I said to the House on the 29th March 2010 in
in the whole of my 31 years in elected public office, I have never
taken any remuneration above that which was paid for by the office
I held. It was only when I announced my retirement from public
office that I was approached by a number of organisations enquiring
what I would be doing when I left the House of Commons.
My response to these enquiries resulted in accepting
a number of positions both paid and unpaid, in preparation for
my life outside Parliament. In late 2007 I believe it would have
been sooner rather than later. However, I want to make it perfectly
clear to Mr Hands's complaint as I did to the House on the 29th,
at no time did I engage in any lobbying activity on behalf of
any organisation registered in my Declaration of Members' Interests.
For the record, all my activities that should be cleared by the
House authorities, have been cleared and are fully recorded in
the Members' Declaration of Interest.
Those not recorded in the declaration, but were referred
in the Sunday Times
entrapment interview are President of the ABAE England, President
of the YHA and President of the UK School Games. Also, Trustee
of the Football Foundation and the Prime Minister's World Cup
Ambassador. All these are voluntary positions I accepted once
I had announced my retirement from Parliament.
In my 27 years service to the House and Government
I have worked to develop a greater understanding between Industry
and Government. This is a point that I made to the House on the
29th March and my submission to the Public Administration Committee
on the 8th May 2008,
which is documented in the Minutes of Evidence. On re-reading
my evidence, my answer to Question 585 is particularly accurate
with regards to the entrapment that the Sunday
Times, tried to lure me into.
My reasons for serving for 14 years as a Trustee
of the Industry and Parliament Trust was to promote a greater
understanding and awareness of the activities of Parliament and
In the role of Trustee of the IPT, I have given numerous
talks to Industry on the role of Parliament, its Back Benchers
and its Committee structure, and on how Government works with
my experience of over 10 years as a Government Minister. Information
I naively thought the Sunday
Times journalist was interested in, but
went on to totally distort what I had said. It is interesting
to read the exchange of communications between the HA and the
(Ref 6) which shows how a totally distorted interpretation can
be placed on what I said. Again, since leaving Ministerial Office,
I have given a number of talks on the role of Parliament and Government
to many organisations.
One of my last initiatives with the IPT and its Chair,
Bill Olner MP, was to meet the Speaker of the House and the Finance
and Administration Committee to find a closer and more formal
working relationship between the IPT and Parliament, this is still
Now turning to your questions, the circumstances
leading up to the entrapment, was a call to my office requesting
a meeting with a representative from an American Company, Anderson
Perry. I understand from my secretary that Ms Claire Webster rang
on a number of occasions to arrange a date, after my secretary
consulted me on this appointment, she went ahead and organised
the meeting, something she has done on many occasions during her
over 25 years of service. There was a difference however, that
the reporter insisted to have in the meeting outside of the House
of Commons in the Marriott Hotel, just across the bridge from
the House of Commons. I only became aware of this on the morning
of the interview. Whilst no alarm bells rang, I did find it unusual
as I normally have all the meetings in the House of Commons.
Question two I told the House on the 29th March 2010,
what appeared in the Sunday
Times was a fabrication of the information
gained in the entrapment with the sole intention to deliberately
mislead. I still stand by my statement and I am enclosing the
correspondence between the Sunday
Times and my lawyers.
I am also enclosing my response to [name] of the 19th March 2010.
I want to make it perfectly clear that from, the
very start of the entrapment interview I told the reporter that
I was not making any decisions about my activities until after
the General Election when I would have left the House of Commons.
She consistently came back to this issue on a number of occasions
and I repeatedly gave her the same answer. I am also enclosing
correspondence between the PCC and myself, which may be of interest.
The Sunday Times
made very serious allegations, which were not followed up in the
published story of contract fixing, and influencing legislation
of which they said that they had evidence from the interview,
which I emphatically denied. I still have not received the transcript
or the film of the interview even though it has now been requested
on two separate occasions.
On question three, all my activities that should
be recorded, are recorded in the declaration of the Members Interest.
On question four, these are, enclosed in my submission
to the PCC.
On question five, I do not believe any of the allegations
in the Sunday Times
are true. All my activities have been within the rules laid down
by the House Authorities and at no time have I brought the House
On question six, I believe that everything I said
in the interview was consistent with what I have said in this
I see from your letter that you have approached the
Channel 4 Programme for the full interview, it was, as I understand
it, the Sunday Times
who initiated the entrapment and I hope that you will be able
to get the film and the tape recording, which was referred to
in the Sunday Times
Since the entrapment article in the Sunday
Times I have received dozens of e-mails,
texts and telephone calls of surprise and support and not one
communication of criticism, or any indication that I have brought
the House into disrepute.
I am enclosing for reference a selection of e-mails
and letters I have received from the ABAE England, the YHA, the
immediate past Master Cutler of Sheffield, [name] and the Director
of Forgemasters, [name].
If you require further evidence, please let me know.
Also enclosed for reference is the correspondence
between the Fitness Industry Association, AMEC and the Sunday
I hope the information and the explanation I have
given answers your questions and if you require any further information,
or would like to meet, then I am more than willing to make myself
19 April 2010
Report, HC Deb, 29 March 2010, cols 545-548
Mr. Richard Caborn (Sheffield, Central) (Lab):
In common, I think, with several other Members who will contribute
today, this will possibly be my last speech in the House, after
27 years of representing Sheffield, Central, and after five years
before that as a Member of the European Parliament. I was first
elected to public office, as an MEP, in 1979, having left school
at 15 years of age to start my engineering apprenticeship at the
company that is now Forgemastersa great company that has
recently been in the news, and to which I shall return a little
I warmly welcome the Budget, like many of us who
have been championing manufacture and wealth creation for many
years. We see it as a Budget that recognises the need for the
economy to be rebalanced, with a greater proportion of wealth
creation being achieved through manufacturing. Its measures will
help us to continue to take the country along that rebalancing
The Budget's £2.5 billion one-off growth package
is very important, particularly for areas such as Sheffield. There
will be investment in the creative industries, digital communications,
the medipark and the Advanced Manufacturing Park. That is a reflection
of recent policy, particularly the new industrial strategy introduced
by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
when he returned from EuropeI think his experiences as
a European Commissioner must have had an effect.
I want to remind the House, however, that Sheffield
has been modernising and repositioning its economy for more than
a decade. We have been modernising to meet the challenges of the
globalised world of the 21st century, with our two outstanding
universities, a very strong further education college, industrial
and commercial sectors that want to work in partnership, and the
support of Yorkshire Forward, our regional development agency.
We have developed, through those very strong partnerships, centres
of excellence such as the medipark, the cultural industries, digital
Sheffield and our advanced manufacturing park. The Budget will
strengthen all four of those major activities, and those areas
will be major centres of employment and wealth creation in the
Let us consider just one of those, the advanced manufacturing
park, which is closely linked to the university of Sheffield under
the leadership of Professor Keith Ridgway. The project was set
up 10 years ago to address the productivity and the competitiveness
of our aerospace industry, which is a sector that has an order
book of more than £40 billion and that employs well over
100,000 people, many of whom are employed in the skills sector.
The park has grown to be one of the most respected advanced manufacturing
parks in the world.
The recent investment by Rolls-Royce and the Government
in a nuclear manufacturing park, which is to be located alongside
the aerospace facilities, will enable the techniques and innovation
that have been developed over the years in the aerospace industry
to be transferred to the nuclear sector, thus enabling that development
to be a smart partner for the nuclear build programme. This is
an area of great potential for British manufacturing and technology,
addressing the green agenda not just here, but internationally.
Twelve nuclear power stations could be built in the UK at the
cost of about £60 billion. That is estimated to be about
4 per cent of the world's order book. Again, that development
is encouraged by the announcement in the Budget.
I said that we had been working on this project for
more than a decade. In fact, it was 10 years ago that I had dinner
in the Housein the Churchill Roomwith Phil Condit,
then chief executive of Boeing, and Professor Keith Ridgway. From
that dinner came the start of a £6 million investment to
be made in the intellectual property of the university of Sheffield
and the vision of Keith Ridgway. I facilitated that dinner and
I am proud to have been involved in that project ever since.
Today, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and many other companies
involved in the supply chain are involved in the park, with some
of the work being done on blue skies technology and research and
development. As I said, the nuclear new build programme and developments
in the industry have attracted a good partnership between the
Government and Rolls-Royce, which has resulted in a £35 million
investment in that nuclear development.
In 2008, I organised another dinner in the House,
which was similar to the one that took place in the Churchill
Room 10 years ago. It enabled representatives of five universities,
five captains of industryGraham Honeyman, chief executive
of Forgemasters, was thereand two Secretaries of State
to discuss how universities, Government and industry could work
together to exploit the nuclear renaissance for the UK for many
years to come.
On Sunday, the Sunday Times accused me of
acting improperly in organising that dinnerthe dinner that
brought together universities, Government and industry to discuss
how we could act collectively in the best interests of UK plc.
Throughout my 27 years in the House, I have been doing just thatacting
in the best interests of the UK, be it through my post as Chair
of the Trade and Industry Committee, in my role for the past 14
years as Trustee of the Industry and Parliament Trust or through
my contacts with the trade unions, employers' organisations and
industrial groups. Those are all people who want British industry
to grow and prosper. That is my record and I am proud of it. If
it is wrong in the eyes of the Sunday Times, I plead guilty.
A few years ago, the House passed the Freedom of
Information Act. The press were rightly at the forefront of the
demand for it, but now, when the press use misleading evidence
obtained through sting operationsthis is evidence that
could not be used in courtthey believe that it is their
right to keep it from those whom they accuse. My lawyers twice
requested the information that appeared in the Sunday Times,
but they did not receive any response. What people read in the
Sunday Times was a deliberate fabrication, which was designed
to mislead. I do not believe that we have a level playing field,
and when the House returns it ought seriously to consider the
balance between freedom of information and what the press are
doing through their sting operations and not allowing those whom
they accuse in the newspapers, and the nation, to challenge information
that cannot even be used in the courts of this land.
Returning to the Budget, as I said, I started at
Forgemasters as an engineer apprentice at the age of 15. Last
week, on Friday, the MPs in Sheffield, the two vice-chancellors,
the further education colleges and Yorkshire Forward met to discuss
the skills agenda of the future, from our skill shortages, which
could be an impediment to growth, to the quality of training needed
to ensure that the aerospace and nuclear supply chains are up
to scratch. We have concerns, although we warmly welcome the announcement
of the promise on the skills agenda. The budget for this area
should be increased, and we believe we need a clear focus on delivery.
That is something we are working on as a result of that meeting,
and we hope to produce some ideas about delivery, which we think
is very important, and to remove some of the confusion around
it. For the record, I shall continue to be involved in that when
I have left Parliament.
Finally, I want to conclude on the subject of a significant
investment in Sheffield Forgemastersa 16,000 tonne forging
press, which will be one of the largest forging presses, if not
the largest, in the world. It has taken nearly three years to
develop that plan and bring it to fruition, and I want to put
on record my thanks to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation
and Skills, his Ministers and special advisers, along with Tim
Stone from PricewaterhouseCoopers. They have worked very effectively
to make this happen. As for Sheffield Forgemasters, it has been
said that this would not have happened had it not been for the
vision of people such as Graham Honeyman, Tony Pedder and Peter
Birtles, but there was also strong support from the work force.
Half the company is now owned by the work force and the pride
in those young people, particularly the 70 apprentices who work
there, has to be seen to be believed. That has put us in a unique
position at the beginning of the supply chain worldwide and for
the nuclear new build. That, I believe, is very important if we
are to capitalise and see an industrial renaissance coming out
of that nuclear renaissance, particularly in engineering and manufacturing.
That was a great day, and it was great to be involved
when that £160 million investment was announced by the Secretary
of State a couple of weeks ago. The very first job that I completed
while serving my time as an apprentice and coming out of that
was the building of a 4,000-tonne forging press, so, having represented
Sheffield, Central and Forgemasters for 27 years, it will be very
pleasing to see a forging press four times greater than that and
the investment that is being made.
This is probably my last speech to the House, and
I say with honesty that in my 31 years as an elected representative,
I have never taken a single penny outside the salary that I have
earned and been paid. It was only when I decided a couple of years
ago to stand down and announced my retirement that a number of
companies came to me and asked whether I would be a consultant
and help them, probably as a non-executive directornever
as a lobbyist. I was approached as someone who has been in the
national institutions and who has also been an engineer. I am
proud to have done that and I will continue to work for the betterment
of British manufacturing, and particularly engineering, in which
I believe very strongly, having had a father and a grandfather
who were in the engineering industry-indeed, it runs through our
DNA. It would be good to see the press talking this side of British
industry up rather than talking it down.
29 March 2010
to Rt Hon Richard Caborn, from the Commissioner, 18 May 2010
Now that the new Parliament has assembled, I am resuming
my inquiries into this complaint in respect of the interview which
you gave to an undercover reporter. This letter is a response
to your letter of 19 April.
I have, as you know, asked for a record of the full
interview which you gave the reporter, and, once I receive that,
I am likely to need to write to you again about it.
In the meantime, I think that it might be helpful
if you could help me further on the matters covered in your letter
of 19 April, in particular points on which it would be helpful
to have a direct response to the questions I asked in my letter
of 31 March. These points are:
37. what the undercover reporter originally told
you (or your office) about the purpose of the interview; why you
accepted her invitation and confirmation that the date of your
interview was 10 March 2010;
38. what paid positions or employment you accepted
while still a Member of Parliament, with dates of acceptance
and the dates when you made any necessary registration in the
Register of Members' Financial Interests (which I assume is the
register which you refer to as the "Members'
Declaration of Interests");
39. specific responses to my question 2. You
have given me a general answer but have not addressed any of the
specific questions which I asked you in the six subsections of
that question (subsections (a) to (f) ). I would be grateful if
you could provide me with specific answers to each of the points
I raise under each of those subsections. If you preferred, it
would be open to you to defer answering these questions until
I have resolved the matter of my request for the full transcript.
If so, please let me know;
40. I would be grateful if I could also have
a specific answer to my question 3, which was whether you have
at any time been paid £2,500 a day for consultancy or other
services. If so, I would be grateful for the details. Your reference
to all your activities having been recorded in the Register of
Members' Financial Interests does not specifically answer that
You have referred to the speech you made in the House
on 29 March 2010, and I will include the relevant sections of
the Official Report in your written evidence. If you wished me
to take account of any information in relation to your evidence
to the Public Administration Committee, I would be most grateful
if you could send me a copy of the relevant sections so that I
can incorporate them in your written evidence.
It would be most helpful if you could let me have
a response to this letter within the next two weeks. I am grateful
for your help.
18 May 2010
to the Commissioner from Rt Hon Richard Caborn, 21 May 2010
I thank you for your letter dated the 18th May 2010.
Would it be possible to clarify the request you have made for
the full interview which was given to the Reporter, does include
both the audio and film recording that was referred to in the
Sunday Times article. Also could you confirm that I will
have access to this information.
I understood the purpose of the meeting with Ms Claire
Webster was on behalf of an American company, Anderson Perry,
who were looking to locate and invest in the UK. My secretary
googled the company and provided me with the background briefing
for the meeting which was held on the 10th March 2010 (which we
believe to be accurate but we have no means of checking back).
In answer to question two, my only paid position
was after I had announced my intention in 2007 not to stand at
the next General Election. I accepted two positions which were
cleared by the Office of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments
and are recorded in my acceptance letter to them dated the 29th
These two appointments were duly recorded in a letter to [name],
Registrar of the Register of Members' Interests, in a letter on
the 6th March 2008.
Question three, I would prefer to defer as you suggested
any detailed answers until you receive the tapes and film of the
Question four, the notional daily rate for AMEC was
£2,500 per day and £1,000 per day for the FIA. I say
notional as a significant amount of time is required in preparing
for meetings, reading background papers and preparing reports.
[This] was all built into the daily rate. This I estimate was
between two to three days per fee paid day. This is fully covered
in the declaration in the Registers of Members' Interests.
Finally, you asked if I would highlight the points
to be made in your Report from the evidence session which I attended
at the Public Administration Committee. I don't think this would
be helpful because it could be taken out of context. I would much
prefer to have the full evidence session that I attended referenced
in your Report. I believe the evidence session I was involved
in is important as it gives my both views and opinion on Ministers
accepting paid positions when they come out of office. I hope
that this information is of assistance, but if you require further
information, don't hesitate to contact me and I look forward to
receiving the tapes and film recording of the entrapment.
21 May 2010
to Rt Hon Richard Caborn from the Commissioner, 24 May 2010
Thank you for your letter of 21 May responding to
mine of 18 May about this complaint in respect of an interview
you gave to an undercover reporter in March 2010.
It may be helpful if I responded to each of your
points as follows:
41. I will show you anything which I receive
from the production company in response to my request for material
of the full interview;
42. I remain unclear what the reporter told you
or your office about what they wanted to discuss with you. Unless
you provide me with further information on this, I will assume
that you agreed to the meeting solely on the information that
there was an American company looking to locate and invest in
the UK. There was no suggestion at that stage that you would have
any role in its activities. If this is wrong, please let me know.
43. I would be grateful if you could identify
specifically the paid positions you accepted, when you accepted
them and the date of your registration, as requested in my earlier
letter. The date of acceptance is not recorded in Register entries.
It would also be helpful if you could let me have copies of the
letters to which you refer, including your exchange of correspondence
with ACOBA, so that I can enter them into the evidence.
44. Could you send me the parts of your evidence
session to the Public Administration Committee which you wish
me to consider? I had hoped that you would be able to help me
on identifying any other points you wanted me to take into account,
in addition to your answer to question 585 which you referred
to in your letter of 19 April. Without that, I will need to come
to my own view on whether the whole of your responses in that
session, or any other part of those responses, are relevant to
this inquiry. Given, however, the importance which you understandably
attach to your views on this matter, it would be most helpful
if you could set them out, drawing as necessary on your evidence
to the Public Administration Committee, so that I am able to consider
them in the context of this inquiry.
I was grateful for the other information you provided
in your letter.
It would be helpful if you could let me have a response
to this letter within the next two weeks. I will contact you when
I hear from the production company. Thank you for your help.
24 May 2010
to Rt Hon Richard Caborn from the Commissioner, 2 June 2010
I have now received a certified transcript of your
conversations with the undercover reporter which are the subject
of this complaint.
I enclose a copy of the certified transcript. This
material is confidential to my inquiry and subject to parliamentary
privilege. If it were disclosed to anyone else during the course
of my inquiries, that would, as you know, be a contempt of the
House. I would be grateful, therefore, if you did not disclose
these transcripts further or use them for any other purpose.
When I initially wrote to you on 31 March I said
that I would show you this transcript and might need to ask you
some further points. These points are:
45. You refer in your initial telephone conversation,
and at various points in your interview, to your role as a non-executive
director of Nuclear Management Partners. Could you confirm this
appointment and let me know whether you considered registering
it in the Register of Members' Financial Interests?
46. You refer in a number of places to your proposals
for restructuring health and wellness services in Sheffield, including
the links you have with your friend who is Chair of the Health
Authority (page 18). Could you let me know whether you linked
this work to your work as consultant to the Fitness Industry Association,
and whether the members of that Association were likely to benefit
from these proposals? And in your contacts with Ministers and
officials on these proposals, did you make it clear that you were
a paid consultant to FIA?
47. In various places (including pages 28, 29
and 42), you refer to the work you did with AMEC and in setting
up a consortium to bid for, and win, a major contract. Could you
help me on the dates when you undertook that work and whether
it involved you making representations to Ministers or officials?
If so, did you declare your interest?
48. You refer on page 47 to you setting up "the
whole regeneration of the company
I revamped the whole
structure." Could you confirm that
this was an accurate statement of the work you undertook for AMEC?
How was this major task structured, were you given assistance,
and how did you manage to achieve it given your parliamentary
49. On page 51, in response to the question about
the kind of further expertise you would have been able to bring
if you were to be elevated to the House of Lords, you responded,
"Well, access, access
to people. You're in the environment, you're moving around, you're
doing it all the time. That will give you a much wider view
that would be a base
you're there all the time
access all the time. Access to Ministers, you've got access to
all the information that's going around."
Could you help me on whether it is reasonable to interpret those
statements as suggesting that as a Member of the House of Lords
you could secure access to Ministers for the company who was retaining
you on its advisory board?
50. On page 82, in answer to your question about
how easy it was to get a Minister to go out for dinner, you said,
"I did it with AMEC,
Samir Brikho, their MD
he said to me:
'Why don't we bring academia, producers
the Secretary of
State for Energy and the one for schools'
and so I set all that up
I'd do it at Westminster because
it's easier for them." Would you
let me know whether you set up for AMEC a dinner or dinners in
the Palace of Westminster, and if so, what were the arrangements
and did you declare a financial interest in booking the facilities
and sending out the invitations?
51. On page 84 you imply that you arranged a
meeting with the Prime Minister and the Energy Minister for the
MD of AMEC. Could you confirm the accuracy of that statement and,
if so, the arrangements which you made, including whether you
declared your interest to the relevant Departments in setting
up that meeting?
52. Finally, could you confirm the date of the
I would, of course, welcome any other comments you
may wish to make having seen the transcript, either on the context
of your discussion or on particular points which you made.
I would welcome a response to this letter, and to
my letter of 24 May. I appreciate that you may want a little time
to read the transcript, but a response by the end of this month
would be very welcome. Thank you for your continuing help with
2 June 2010
'Politicians for Hire'Transcript of Telephone Conversation
with Rt Hon Richard Caborn MP on 16 February 2010
Telephone conversation between [reporter], under
the name Claire Webster ("CW") and Richard Caborn ("RC")
(Recording starts a few seconds into the conversation)
|RC:||Let me tell you what my position is III'm Member of Parliament as you obviously know, you probably know my background.
|RC||What I'm waiting for is the Election on the 9, on the 6th of May because that will then release me er but there's a number of things that I er, which will possibly happen then which, er I, er really have to find out before I commit myself any further, er there's a possibility I might go to the House of Lords, for example, or things like that. So I have got to wait for that to settle down so at the moment er I really don't want to take anything on that I would have to then either say I couldn't do or, er, you know, would look at other opportunities.
|RC||So I because I am already doing a couple, I thought I would have finished as a MP some time ago because there was supposed to be an election earlier than now but obviously that didn't happen but I am a non executive director of Nuclear Management Partners at Sellafield...
|RC||...which is an American French and British Company and I'm also advising AMEC, the British FTSE 100 company and I just advise the Fitness Industry Association as well but that's, besides doing other thingsin fact the reason I couldn't talk to you earlierI'm President of the amateur boxing and things like that so...
|CW||Yes so you're quite busy at the moment doing those things. So really the situation with you is that you want to see what happens with the election?
|RC||I'll see what happens on the Election and then really I'll just reassess that depending on what will, what will happen immediately after that. So, I wouldn't, I won't say necessarily, I wouldn't say no. I'll have a look at what you're doing and that, it's not a no, but if you want to come back at some stage after the 6th May or...
|CW||Yes that might be an idea, perhaps I can do that perhaps we can speak after that time and then by you'll know whether you're going into the House of Lords or what was it you...?
|RC||I mean what I shall do, there's no doubt I shall set, I shall set a, well I've got a consultancy now and I shall expand that er if, you know, more than I would if I go to the other place. If I go to the other place then obviously I'd want to spend some time there doing things so er, you know so really the ball's up in the air at the moment. Er...
|CW||Yes I see that. With your consultancy at the moment is that how you do your work for the other organisationsyou do it via your consultancy?
|RC||No; two of them I do. The third one I'm a non executive directorso that's direct. I'm a non executive director on Nuclear Management Partners which is a combination of three companies, URS Washington, US, ARETHA of France and AMEC of the UKthey came together to create that consortium that made the bid that won the bid for the Sellafield
|RC||...and that was the contract Sellafield which was quite a (...INAUDIBLE...) large (?) contract. So I work with them as non executive director on that. And the other two are consultancies with AMEC and with the Fitness Industry Association.
|CW||And what kind of consultancy work do you do for them? It just be would just be useful for me to know for later on...
|RC||Well I do stuff on the engineering side, at the moment I'm negotiating with forces (?)(...INAUDIBLE...) with a major deal on the largest (...INAUDIBLE...) press (?) in (...INAUDIBLE...)I'm doing a lot on the supply chain of the nuclear power industry working with the advance manufacturing party set up (...INAUDIBLE...) just outside it. I do a lot of advice in those areas. I also, obviously, was Minister for Trade so I've been round the world, I've got lot of contracts there, and I advise AMEC on our international... see I was down in South Africa, I met with the South African energy minister and their people down in South Africa, so I do that as well. So you know, I make those connections really for UK Limited.
|CW||It does sound like you do have very good contacts, as I'd expect really, through um, your um experience.
|RC||Yes well I had ten years in the as a Minister obviously (...INAUDIBLE...) I did set up the Regional Development Agencies, (...INAUDIBLE...) set up Trade and Investment which was when I was Minister for Trade and then I was six years at Sport, after that was obviously winning the Olympics but we took in Sport as well so in that sense in those are the areas you know I've got some expertise in or at least contacts and expertise in, so.
|CW||Mmm. That sounds perfect. I'll you what I think maybe we could progress this after the election, depending on what happens but I wonder if it might be worth meeting just for an informal coffee beforehand just to touch base and say hello so you know who I am and we could really do something after May.
|CW||Are you going to be contactable by e-mail over the next couple of weeks?
|RC||Yes. If you, if you, there's two things, it's [...]
|RC||Or if you ring [name] at the House of Commons which is [...] and arrange to come and have a cup of coffee. She'll put it in the diary and you could pop into the House if that's OK with you.
|CW||Yes, yes, that would be a good idea.
|RC||then she'll sort a time out and you can pop in to have half an hour.
|CW||That would be great. That sounds great Richard.
|RC||(...INAUDIBLE...) I mean I don't know much about your company either, so...
|CW||I can send you some information if you like.
|RC||If you would. I'll have look at that. OK?
|CW||Nice to speak to you, thanks so much. Bye.
112. Dispatches 'Politicians
for Hire'Transcript of Rt Hon Richard Caborn MP meeting,
10 March 2010
|Music and papers rustling
|RC||Can you hear me?
|CW||Oh hello how are you I was just looking for your mobile number actually I was just going to let you know I where, where are we sitting, where are you?
|CW||Oh me too I'm sitting down by the erm, err by the window. Did you just walk in?
|Movement and music still playing
[Dialogue about finding the correct location.]
||So you're Anderson Perry?|
|CW||Yeah, that's right erm, it was just erm, great to have a chat with you, really.
|RC||Yeah, yeah yeah.
|CW||In the last... (...INAUDIBLE...)
|RC||Tell me a little bit about the set up.
|CW||Yeah yeah I will.
||I'm not quite, I think I know....|
|CW||Yeah no problem. They're an American company erm, and in the last month or so I've set up the London office, we're based in St James' Square.
||It's a lovely building there which is really great we're getting a whole floor ... so it's exciting erm, and the reason we're doing it is because so many of our clients have said to us look we've got more and more business interests in the UK now and we really need you to kind of help us with those. So...
|RC||What, what you are, you are, it's engineering in the broadest sense, service engineering?
||Well no a bit of both actually, it's what they call it in the States is, there's another Anderson Perry and I wondered if you'd seen their web site.
|RC||Yeah I've got the one from the States and I've got, that's the other one.
|CW||Yes that's us yes. Yeah but yeah that's right.
||You've got a whole series (?) on err, it's basically engineering isn't it?
|CW||Well actually we've got some engineering clients. But actually it's communications.
|RC||Is it, oh.
||What they call it in America is bespoke consultancy and what that means you basically do everything. Erm, so sometimes that's kind of dealing with press and media enquiries and other times that's helping people with their investments and how supporting what they're doing erm, so just to give you an idea of some of the clients that we have, we've got defence clients in the states who, one of them makes their chassis for MPV vehicles...
|So they've various contracts with the equivalent of the MOD there erm, and there's, erm, a kind of health client there does elderly care. And they've got various contracts to kind of look after elderly people and they're looking to expand here. And we've got a consortium of erm, people in the UAE who are interested in, they kind of do various investments erm but they're interested in getting more involved in the UK especially in property erm, and kind of infrastructure. They see it erm, actually as a great opportunity erm, about what's happening here in terms of property and seeing it as a good time to get involved erm, and to expand. So it's quite broad what we do actually and it's quite nice erm, And kind of the plan for the next couple of months is for me to set up an advisory board erm, and that will involve getting about 4 - 6 people together to give us strategic advice and also our clients to strategic advice when necessary. And that's one of the things I wanted to speak to you about really.
|CW||To see if that's the kind of thing you might be interested in doing when you step down or?
|RC||How did you pick my name up?
|CW||I asked one of my researchers to kind of draw up a list of people that were, there well connected and also had a consultancy background so were used to kind of dealing with business and doing that and then your name came up so hopefully we've got the right kind of person?
||No, I, I I, well I've been in Government you know I've been in Government 10 years, I've been in Parliament 27 and my .(...INAUDIBLE...)at the end of this Parliament to be 6th May. Erm, but I'm an engineer by, background as well and I do quite a lot in the, energy industry..
||Yeah, I advise, AMEC|
|CW||I think you mentioned them when we spoke on the phone.
|RC||Yeah and I'm also non executive director on err, and this is where I thought the connection had come from, a non executive director on Sellafield which is a big nuclear site erm, which because of the clean up (...INAUDIBLE...). There's an American company, quite a big American company, who is one of the three in the consortium, URS Washington and they are err, well they're a huge company, and the bit I'm involved in is the nuclear side and they cleaned up Savannah River which was a big nuclear site in the US. (...INAUDIBLE...) plutonium (...INAUDIBLE...) for the arms industry.
||And they came on board, with AMEC and with Areva France which are, is a big energy/nuclear company in France and those three made the bid collectively and I was at at the time but then they asked me to do it as a non executive director, I'm a non exec and that's where I thought(...INAUDIBLE...)
||...because I looked after the US you see.
|CW||Well it might have been because I asked them to speak to the, the guy that I got to the work I spoke to lots of our clients in the US, just to see if they'd erm, come across people, and to be honest I just got the final list.
||I'm not particularly aware of where it all comes from.
|RC||It came from anywhere.
|CW||Yeah so it may erm, it may well be that, but I just wanted to kind of get a sense from you, with I don't know what kind of thing you'd be interested in and what kind of things you'd done previously to get an idea of your expertise?
||Yeah well I mean, it, in part, well I'm an engineer by profession and I went into Europe in err, in the European Parliament in 1979 for the first time and I was on the economic and military committee there with Jacques Delores who was our president at the time err and so I worked quite a bit in on the European scene and particularly on the industrial side in European Parliament. I came out in 83. err and into this Parliament, and then in the early 90's I chaired the Select Committee on Trade and Industry in a period when Michael Heseltine was the President of the Board Of Trade and I chaired that Committee through the inquiries on pit closures, on information super highway erm, the Aerospace (...INAUDIBLE...) and the international trade in South Africa (...INAUDIBLE...). And then I, then I went into Government and, and I was a Minister responsible for setting up the regional development agencies across...
||...across England. I also started planning, new planning processes, then I left there, two years after I set the IVA's up and I went into trade and I was Trade Minister and created an organisation called UK Trade and Investment which put inward investment which was (...INAUDIBLE...) at the time (...INAUDIBLE...) together to, much more comprehensive approach to, to exporting, on a (...INAUDIBLE...) linked to the regions national and international, through UK Trade and Investment, UK TI as they called it. I did that for two years.
||Yeah and then I went into sport and I set up, restructured the whole sport, so on my watch was the whole Olympics as well but it, it linked a lot of that...on the health. The other thing I do advise as well is the Fitness Industry Association, the FIA.
|CW||Oh right what do they do?
|RC||They are, they bring together all the Lloyds Leisure's, erm, the, all the, well, public and private sector, all the, all gyms that we've got around this place err, First Leisure, Lloyds, and so on, all of those are under the FIA.
||And the reason err is (...INAUDIBLE...) that because we're trying to fund the sports programme to get err a million people more active, by 2012.
||And it was to try and use that part of err, which I believe is, is underutilised erm, facility in the UK and link that into sport you know and to the schools to develop (...INAUDIBLE...)
|Coffee machine in background
|CW||So that children would use those gyms for instance?
|Yeah, what, what we, we set out to do in 2001 there was less than 25 percent of the school population getting two hours of physical activity or sport. And we created the structure and by (...INAUDIBLE...) the School Sports Partnership where you have one sports provider, eight secondary schools, 30 primary schools, roughly speaking, and that created the partnership where we can be a suitable co-ordinator, which were teachers who have 2 or 3 days a week off, backed up by another teacher which organise the sport and physical activity and we took the average choice of sport and physical activity (...INAUDIBLE...) to no less than 14 choices, sometimes up to 24 and we moved we moved the physical activity from 25 percent when I left in 1997 to 85 percent and that means there are now around three million hours a week more physical activity in our education system than there was in 2001.
|RC||It's been the fastest move of (...INAUDIBLE...)
|RC||And as we got (...INAUDIBLE...) the Ofsted report. For the first time obesity and overweight have just started to level out in schools.
||Yeah we think err, the last stats, we can think that now it's obviously started to have an impact on... and we're extending that for two in school to three outside school.
||So we're trying to link the prevention but that also changes the culture. And that's great while you're getting the very controlled systems in the education system which you can do that and the structure and you do it and the kids are there 9 to 5.
|CW||So what do they do go to the gym effectively?
|RC||You know, they do all sorts, we do they, they've got two hours, they can do break dancing, they can do sport, they can do other things and we have, created structures which hopefully gives them a good experience of which they can, We've found that where kids have got into, particularly girls because they do (...INAUDIBLE...)
|CW||Yeah like hockey.
||Whatever, (...INAUDIBLE...) It turns them off, see? So what we said: No that's crazy! You've got to make, you've got to make the, the clothing that they wear acceptable to them they've got to have choice, they might want to do break dancing, (...INAUDIBLE...) they want to do dance, they might want to do, I don't know, (...INAUDIBLE...)
|RC||(...INAUDIBLE...) and as I say you give a choice, of (...INAUDIBLE...) probably less than 14 (?) but some when they're 21, 24. Then when they come out, the experience is, they're more likely to stop in a (...INAUDIBLE...) physical activity if they've had a good experience certainly than if they've had a bad experience.
||So that's the rationale.|
|CW||That it'll be part of their life?
||And it's all starting to now feed through. Where does that leave us? It's left us with hopefully, when they leave school, where do you go? So we were trying to do all sorts of things that as well as sport creating the backbone of good structures? The private sector on board, the athletics associations, so they would open up their gyms. Err, for (...INAUDIBLE...) experiences.
||And what has been interesting with the FIA is where it is just a gym that has levelled off (...INAUDIBLE...), where when they are in the much wider complex of sport and physical activity. So where you go, where your family can go into, they might want to play badminton, they might want to swim, they might when they go into the gym, they might want to (...INAUDIBLE...) If you create a multi-choice activity for the, for the families then err, then they are more likely to stop (...INAUDIBLE...) exciting, continue.
|You're (?) looking at a fairly big scheme changing. You're looking at very, very much in its infancy. The Chairman of the Health Authority, who is a friend of mine who I have known for many years and he's an, he's an engineer as well. He has been the chair for the Health Authority now err for probably 8 years, probably a bit more. And because I'm sort of finishing, I said you know I'd like to do this experiment. So what we're looking at is zoning the whole of Sheffield and asking the Government there to give us much more freedom on how to expand. He's been to the problems it's the biggest business(?) in Europe and it's very much an ambulance service it, it's a health service but a wellness service.
||And because of that you, we've built all sorts of cultures out of it. We're saying we're got to break them. And whilst we try to work the Health service into all sorts of different structures, we're thinking in the economy of scale with half a million people that two big hospitals, teaching hospitals, and a children's hospital along with two big universities that we ought to look at whether we can actually move the whole cultural agenda to prevention rather than cure.
||But we need to have, a, amendment on the legislation to give us, and we don't want anymore money. But we want to be able to utilise our disciplines so that if people are (...INAUDIBLE...) they've got to (...INAUDIBLE...) (eat less?), if people are obese they've got to get (the fat?) off (...INAUDIBLE...)
|RC||So we've got a lot of sticks and carrots but in doing that we'll link that to err the err industries and and saying be in no doubt we're going to leave it weeks or two weeks, but where you've got a health (...INAUDIBLE...) agenda (...INAUDIBLE...)
||(...INAUDIBLE...) So it's a win-win at the bottom line. It's a win-win on the bottom line at expenditure and you believe (?) cultural shift (...INAUDIBLE...) It's a bit like schools where you can actually over a period shift the culture there (...INAUDIBLE...) acceptable (...INAUDIBLE...) The reality is, that over the last two or three decades we have systematically taken physical activity out of everyone's lives by design. It's the motorcar.
|CW||Yes you're right.
|RC||Town planning, escalators all of them.
|CW||To make life easier.
||The television. We have remote controls, everything. So we (...INAUDIBLE...) in the developed world, we are, designing physical activity out of our lives. For the first time now we are designing it back in. and that's the challenge. We're saying you can do that any way (?) but moving shifting cultures is much more difficult than putting legislation to statute there's no resolution. I mean that could be helpful (...INAUDIBLE...) I mean the anti-smoking one was a classic.
||(...INAUDIBLE...) So that yes, I have been advising the FIA, I because I've got, I've got link into sports, err, physical activity, the schools (...INAUDIBLE...) for years now, err this and I advise them on the (...INAUDIBLE...)
|CW||And what are they looking to get out of it are they looking to?
||They are looking at using their private sector, they are looking to use their assets more effectively, because they are the peer groups of a new organisation (?). See if we can buy that then we could get referrals to the services from doctors, into that, then you can link that together. So basically, you've got an asset there that is under utilised.
|RC||Can we use it?
||For instance a gym in the daytime might be quite empty, yeah.
|RC||Erm, can, can we use that erm and can we utilise that? We're also looking at taking and it's not just in there, but moving in to communities and to community clubs, and saying that do you, like the Salvation Army, do you go out the client and then the client comes to you.
|And then you can bring the client in as well so it means that it's a two way flow. There's a lot, lot of ideas, certainly from their point of view it really is, well it's improving their bottom line that's what they're in business for, if they can do that then, with a social aspect to it as well, then it's a win-win situation.
|CW||Yeah, then everyone's doing well.
|RC||Yes exactly (...INAUDIBLE...) partnership (?)
|CW||How easy is it to kind of liaise with Government and Ministers and Civil Servants and that kind of thing, because some of my clients are going to be looking to expand in the U.K., and to get closer to Government, but I just wonder how you do it practically?
||Well practically, I mean it's not very sophisticated, you know, like the FIA, I mean we get direct access to Ministers, particularly Health Ministers. I was a Minister when I was working with them, I was Minister of Sport and I worked with the FIA to try to encourage them to get on board much more and utilising their, you know, their (...INAUDIBLE...) capacity.
||Erm and it was from that, well there's a number of ways in which you can, which you can influence or at least access Ministers, whether it's a sector or an individual company, or what. And also on policy as well.
|CW||Yeah, well exactly.
|RC||Yeah that's, obviously an important aspect of this, but obviously we're in a changing situation. Nobody knows the, where we're going to be on the 7th May this year.
|CW||I know, well that's one of the questions, and that's one of the things I was wondering about the make-up of the Advisory Board, erm do you think it's the kind of thing you'd be interested in?
||Oh maybe yeah, but I mean the only things is as I don't, what I think I said to you before I. I don't quite know what I'm going to be doing after the 6th May. And I mean there's a possibility I will be in the House of Lords and, and I'm just going to have to find out exactly what I'm going to do there as well But yeah. I wouldn't particularly want to get anything in ... I think it would be wrong for you and wrong for me in, in the sense I don't want to really commit to something I can't do.
|CW||No of course.
||So I'd have to, you know, obviously we'd have a. But yeah its seems I would be interested if circumstances arise.
|RC||Where I'm erm in the House of Lords, I am going to be doing more, I'm going to do more energy. They'll be a very big announcement next week, which I'll be dealing with, about the nuclear supply chain, the nuclear power supply chain.
||Are you still invol, are you still involved with kind of nuclear stuff for Government then?
|RC||Well my, my, the company I used to work at is of course, it called (...INAUDIBLE...)
||(...INAUDIBLE...) Which is a lot of (...INAUDIBLE...) For the energy ...(...INAUDIBLE...).. And one of the things (...INAUDIBLE...) Is there will be an announcement, they're going to build the largest (...INAUDIBLE...) facility in the world.
|RC||Which is the start of the nuclear supply chain. And if you, in broad figures, if I tell you that broadly there are probably in this country 8 to 10 generators erm and that will be worth around the 60 billion pounds.
|CW||Oh my goodness.
||And that only represents 4% of the world's order book as of today. It shows you, this press, we will be the only one in the western world, that's including the U.S., the only other one this size is in Japan. One of the big bottlenecks of the nuclear new build, new generators that people (...INAUDIBLE...) is erm is this part of the supply chain.
||So that's that and the other part is, I've been deeply involved in the setting up of the advanced manufacturing (...INAUDIBLE...) partnership (?), which is erm, something we did that 10 years ago, on the back of Aerospace (...INAUDIBLE...) that conduit with the MD (?). 9, 10 years ago now with (...INAUDIBLE...) and it was out of that discussion that they decided they wanted to come to Britain, because we did a lot of titanium, we did a lot (...INAUDIBLE...) sheet/machine (?) titanium(...INAUDIBLE...) and that's now brought British Aerospace there, brought (...INAUDIBLE...) there, Smiths there, erm a lot of the (...INAUDIBLE...)
|RC||And we're moving advanced manufacturing aerospace into advanced British manufacturing for nuclear industry, so there's a lot for them. And so I've got to do a lot to make sure that UK Limited gets a lead position.
|RC||And so that's quite exciting.
||And what was the erm work that you were doing for erm the Sellafield people.
|More coffee noise.
|RC||I, I, I advise, there was a bid, a consortium bid to get the contract to clean up and to look at all reprocessing of the fuel.
||Bearing in mind it was the (...INAUDIBLE...) and I was, because I'd known AMEC for many, many years and AMEC said to me, when I had finished he came to me and he said would I advise them what to do, with a consortium, so I said fine, yeah I advised them, I did it. I worked with Areva, I worked with Washington and we won it, we won the contract and it was then they said would I go on and I went on as a non-executive.
|RC||But I still advise.
||Erm and what kind of erm how in what way do you advise them, cause I'm just trying to.
|RC||On the board. Oh sorry AMEC?
|CW||Yes that's right because I was just about the things.
|RC||Oh AMEC, I mean I, AMEC I (...INAUDIBLE...) to me, then when I go down to South Africa, I know the Minister of Energy there people there, I fix their people together and we met the Minister of Energy out there cause they've got one nuclear power station. (...INAUDIBLE...) And so I connect them in, if they want a reception in the House of Commons and if they want erm to get advice from Government then I get advice from Government and I introduce them to people.
|Coffee machine over following section
||Erm but they also, they all said to me, (...INAUDIBLE...) nuclear and that as well (...INAUDIBLE...) so a whole series of things, you know. And then that I meet Samir Brikho who's MD and I say come and have a chat and he'll have some ideas you know, someone will think about those ideas, so it's quite right (?)(...INAUDIBLE...)
||No I was just thinking about what kind of things we would be after from the Advisory Board or from our Consultants, and I suppose one of the things erm we'd be looking to try to erm develop would be our relations erm with Government and Ministers and Civil Servants. And I just didn't know whether that was the kind of thing you'd be able to help us with?
||Oh yeah, yeah, obviously I know Ministers. But again it'll change, it could change, it's going to change anyway, irrespective of of
||Cause that many of my colleagues will be leaving. so there will be erm quite a big movement of personnel, personnel, it'll be very interesting, this new, maybe hung Parliament.
|RC||But that won't last for very long in my view, hung Parliaments don't last very long.
|RC||No, they'll be, depending on the composition. Probably a year, eighteen months and then they'll be another election, probably you know. But increasingly, but there's a lot in Europe you see. There's a lot European connections, and into the Commission and the Council of Ministers.
|RC||And in (...INAUDIBLE...)
|Well I suppose, if I just think about the kind of things that they'd be wanting to do, you know there's the health clients, so they'll be wanting to meet people in the Department of Health and various civil servants. Erm the guys we've got in the U.A.E. who are interested in developing erm going in to do kind of housing and construction erm that kind of thing, I , they'll want to meet all kinds of people there, they're interested in the Olympics, although I think, I don't know if that's too late for them. And then of course if we get erm World Cup they'd be very interested in that.
|RC||Well the Olympic Delivery Authority is, I mean I set up the Olympic Delivery Authority.
|CW||Oh did you.
||I took the Bill, I took, yeah I took the Bill through Parliament and set up the structures, and then I set up the, erm you've got the Olympic Board and then you've got effectively two structures, the ODA, which is effectively construction, the other one, which Coe Chairs, is the LOCOG, Local Organising Committee delivers the Games.
|RC||So you've got one who builds the services and infrastructure and the other one then comes in, takes that and delivers the games, I mean that's it.. And then we've just set up, or they have just set up a legacy company now as well, to look at (...INAUDIBLE...)
||Oh have they?|
|RC||(...INAUDIBLE...) games. So that, that's now erm underway.
|CW||And in terms of, say if the Conservatives come in, at the next election, do you think that will affect how much you're able to help us?
|RC||Well yeah, I mean to the point where I, you know, obviously the Ministers I know are in the main good friends of mine as well. But I mean a lot of the old Conservatives who are in all sorts of positions, where I can help will be. Look at Seb Coe, look at Colin Moynahan, he's conservative, Brian Mawhinney is. You know, and I think it's more about, at the end of it, do they trust you in the sense of your integrity and you know the subject you're dealing with.
|RC||And that's true of civil servants as well, you know erm so.
||So you don't think it would be a problem setting up meetings with them.
|RC||Oh no. I mean I set loads of meetings up when I was Minister, with all different parties. (...INAUDIBLE...) I set them up with a lot, there's a lot of ex-Conservative MPs | | stop tape 1| | who lost their seat and worked for all kinds of businesses who came knocking on my door.
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||And there are some very nice and some very good and some that are not and not so good and that's their judgement at the end of the day.
|CW||Yes I know I suppose that's true. But I would guess that civil servants, I would imagine there would quite a lot that might leave at the next election but equally there might be a lot that stay.
||Oh yes there will be a lot that are staying, I mean the civil service is quite a unique animal in that regard it tends to manage political change quite effectively er, so I would think this will leave not a lot
|CW||Yea and you still have the relationships with them, do you?
|Yes I do. John Prescott and I are having a little party next Thursday night for all those who have been in private secretaries since we started. People who worked, not the big high flyers you know, but people within our private office who are head of our policy units, and you'd be amazed, one's my very first private secretary, was really, really good to me and he is number two in the Chinese Embassy now.
||So I said I will text (?) them all before, (...INAUDIBLE...) it's that lump of people who's (...INAUDIBLE...)
||And you know a lot of them, a lot of them are around the world.
|And the other thing is, when I was Minister, for two years doing trade, and set up his clients and I did a lot of travelling, as I did with the Olympics as well. You get to know people and all of a sudden they pop up in another country than you've met them in. I was down at the er, at the, I was down, and I went to a state banquet last week with the president of South Africa. [Name] my wife, she went and um, and (...INAUDIBLE...) affair (?) but [wife] was sat next to a young guy who is now the private secretary (...INAUDIBLE...) to the, er, to er Prince Andrew.
|And he, he told her a story which I can't recall to be quite honest, about when I went to see the (...INAUDIBLE...) and sorted out rather a rather intransigent situation by a member of staff and I gave him, and by all accounts, and I never knew this, but [wife] told me, how he was absolutely delighted. He said he had champagne corks popping when I'd left, because they had given him the biggest bollocking he'd ever had in his life (...INAUDIBLE...)
||But all the guys there, and this guy was there, he must have been (...INAUDIBLE...) but he's now become, he's now become er, the private secretary to Prince Andrew. So he was telling [wife]. It's a funny old world you see.
||And these things come back, cos there's not many parts of the world where you know I don't think I will know anybody.
|CW||Yeah, is it easy enough to see civil servants cos I would always feel tricky just to call them up as Claire Webster and be hi ya, can I come and see you, but?
||But if you are, the real fixers in Whitehall outside the Ministers are the special advisers.
|CW||Oh right and do you now them?
|RC||00:57:42||Yeah that's, cos that's politically how they operate and they are, they come and go with Ministers.
||They are the people that have the ear of the Ministers at the political level. They have civil servants and private secretaries (?) but you also have special advisors. And the other area that is quite good actually is the select committees.
|CW||Oh are they? So it's worth knowing people that are on the select committees?
||Oh yes, very much so. cos when you give evidence, I mean I chaired a select committee for four years, Trade and Industry.
||So you bring a lot of industrialist in or experts, obviously and they draw up a report going to Parliament and have to be responded to by Government. This is the Parliamentary system which is quite, or can be quite influential.
|CW||Do you think you'd be able to help us with the select committees and special advisors in order to um, go and see them?
||Yeah, yeah, as long as you know how the system works that's the main thing. These people come and they go. They've chaired select committees. But the whole system is still there. How you influence the decision makers, that's the structure, that's not going to change. The personnel will change but the system doesn't change.
|CW||Yea well I'm sure that's very true.
||And that's not the same in Europe as well where you have a totally different system which is a consensus and you are er, the political cabinet of the er, the commissions, the European Union again depending on what area they are in. You could have, you need to er, at least have so much (...INAUDIBLE...) that, that structure as well as individual (...INAUDIBLE...)
||Er, what areas are they in? They've got health?
|CW||Yeah, we've got health, defence, um, kind of construction and engineering, they're quite interested in transport um.
||Are they, are they into energy at all?
|CW||Um, a little bit, more the um, investors, they're the people that are particularly interested in getting involved in aviation and energy, because they see it as quite kind of hot topics. Um, and they've got a lot of money to um, invest and they see the UK as one of the places to do it.
||I'm not a financier I'm not.|
|CW||Nor am I.
|RC||I'm not happy with that, not at all, but I could, you know I'm not in with them, I'm much more er, the engineering side, the wealth creation part of that, but not necessarily the investment side (?)
|CW||No I think what they really looking for from us is guidance about what areas they should consider investing in, um, so you know sometimes that might mean a heads up on forthcoming policy, you know what's coming up, what's going to be a hot topic, um, and also introductions to people that they should be talking to.
|Well that's, that's the, relatively (...INAUDIBLE...). That's not hard in that sense, I mean it's when you get into... I'm a non-exec on the (...INAUDIBLE...) NFB (?), (...INAUDIBLE...) financing (...INAUDIBLE...) got to know your subject matter which, some board meetings are two days long some board meetings. and they get into some quite interesting, fairly high level, but for that you have to do a lot of reading. Every day you have to go, every other day, you know.
||Of reading yeah, I think actually I've got to report back to um, my board in the US in the next couple of weeks, and I think one thing that I will be certainly worth highlighting for me, is the good work you'd done for AMEC and Sellafield because obviously getting that contract is a massive thing. Was it a hard thing to get?
||It wasn't hard, it was well not what I think, I think it wasn't hard, it was (...INAUDIBLE...) it was a great look, what you'd one is you've brought three global companies, brought them together (...INAUDIBLE...) it's just me (...INAUDIBLE...) They've all got different skill sets.
||And different ways of doing things. as well: You've got America.
|CW||Oh yeah, they do things differently.
||(...INAUDIBLE...) and then in a new (...INAUDIBLE...)
||Quality of people working (...INAUDIBLE...) and is of the highest calibre it really is absolutely and it's intellectually stimulating to be with them, I mean it's great, it was great. The one objective when you're moving towards, it's a bit like (...INAUDIBLE...) in that sense, there's a lot of similarities you know lots of er, I advised them on a lot, tactics, of how to get to that situation (...INAUDIBLE...)
||But once you've won it you have to start delivering that, different (...INAUDIBLE...) I had about three months of actually bringing them all together er, and it is, it is a peculiar thing because immediately you've won it you all go ah!
||Yes of course and it is quite scary isn't it, because you've suddenly got to do it. Yea how am I going to do this.
||(...INAUDIBLE...) the other interesting bit about this is their company's credibility is on the line. It's not the (...INAUDIBLE...) it's the holding company and that (...INAUDIBLE...) item is there. And if anything goes wrong, it could be Areva, it could be URS, it could be AMEC...
||Of course yeah.|
||Because it's their brand name.|
||Cos they, they protect and rightly so cos they are, they are three world, you know, major world sector (?) companies so er, in that sense it's, it is quite interesting. They come together (...INAUDIBLE...)
||And [name], well (...INAUDIBLE...) my other non executive, we have a great time and we tell, we tell them the absolute truth of what we think, sometimes it hurts.
|RC||But you know its good, they took us now, oh we've been at it now 2½ years.
|CW||Oh really, oh well you must be enjoying it if you've stayed doing it that long.
||Oh yeah, yeah, oh yeah its erm its good. I went off to the U.S. Internal Affair, to attend this erm, to meet one of their guys(...INAUDIBLE...) and I went to France, (...INAUDIBLE...) for a time, to see the guys down there, so its, erm it is, its been a really interesting period, about bringing cultures together to work on a fairly complex issue.
||But we are, we're going to, but they are in themselves very professional people, you know that is great when you've got people like that.
|CW||Yeah, one thing I wanted to get an idea from you, I know it's always a tricky conversation, but I'm going looking to appoint some members of the board, probably over, maybe in April, so you said that you'd be interested in doing something maybe after May, but one thing I wanted to get a sense of is what you'd be expecting in terms of erm remuneration, in whether you have a normal day rate that you'd look for to be an advisory board member.
|RC||Well my, what they pay me, I'll tell you what they pay, they pay me, they pay me two and a half thousand pounds a day.
||Yeah, so would that be what your looking for?
|RC||Yeah, that's what I, for yeah, plus expenses obviously.
|Erm and that's well we don't pay, oh sorry AMEC pay me, they don't pay me that, they just pay me like seventy-five thousand a year, as a board member, up to I think its 30 days, and if I do any time above that then I get extra, cause that saves all the messing about, when you're just paid, as a non executive, being paid seventy-five thousand erm and that covers my contract, board meetings and various other activities. But to be honest I'm doing quite a lot for that. I set up the whole regeneration of the company, because they had a commitment to socioeconomic development and I did not like the structure so I revamped the whole structure and it's become much wider (...INAUDIBLE...) Which is quite exciting from my point of view, but that's what really erm made, made a big, big difference on that so and our, we have a (...INAUDIBLE...)relationship, cause we have a thing called the nuclear non departmental public body. We are responsible (...INAUDIBLE...)
|RC||On that particular subject (...INAUDIBLE...) and a lot of repositioning. but that is now, just about (...INAUDIBLE...) it's been quite interesting, quite exciting to erm to put together.
||Yeah I bet.|
|And it's interesting how various companies have relationships with their Government. The Americans and their Department of Environment have a relationship with the American Government... Having a relationship with the French having a relationship with the French Government (...INAUDIBLE...), and now here, all different types of relationships. But when they're Here they've got to have our relationship.
|CW||Yeah, that's what our clients are saying as well, you know, they may be used to doing business in America, or in the Gulf of wherever, but how should they be doing business here? Who should they be meeting? You know how, does it all work?
||Well that's right, but (...INAUDIBLE...) this country, but these guys you know they'll, they've probably had quite a bit of experience on it.
|Yeah, yeah they do. Erm I think what we'd be looking to for the advisory board is having erm, I think you try something for the first 6 months and see how it's working, and then assess it. So we're looking for a meeting every other month, erm though you might want to up that to once a month after a while, so I would expect it to be, to roughly work out to prob, maybe erm a day for the meeting and a day for kind of reading, so that's going to be roughly.
||About 12 days a year.|
|CW||Yeah, erm and then of course we'd be looking for erm people to do consultancy work on top of that, and that would be up to you, if you erm wanted to do that, and wanted to get erm a whole (...INAUDIBLE...) depending on your time commitments.
||Yeah well that depends a lot on what I'm going to do to be honest. And I, I, I, I my view it will become clear [pause].
The biggest decision obviously is whether I go to the Lords. I will know that probably in the next erm five weeks, four or five weeks we will know who is going to be (...INAUDIBLE...)
||That has to be announced before that, the erm the PM goes to the Palace and I shall know, and that will then really determine what I am going to do. Of course, if that doesn't happen then I'll continue to work on my consultancy. I will set an office up there or elsewhere and I'll take a slightly different course, but if I'm in Parliament still, then obviously that gives me access to a lot of other things.
||That, that's it really|
|CW||I was going to ask you actually erm cause I know when we spoke on the phone you mentioned that you might go to the Lords, at, what kind of further expertise do you think that would bring if you were to be in the Lords?
||Well access, access to people. You're in, you're in, you're in the environment you're moving around, you're doing it all the time. That would give you a much wider view (...INAUDIBLE...) narrowness, very much into manufacturing (?), the energy sector, two directorships (...INAUDIBLE...)
||Erm because that would be a base, (...INAUDIBLE...) Government (...INAUDIBLE...) access, constituency (?)(...INAUDIBLE...)
|CW||And by access do you mean that you'd be able to erm talk more, talk to people or?
||Yeah you you're there all the time (...INAUDIBLE...) Got access all the time. Access to Ministers, you've got access to all the information that's going around.
||Yeah, so you could just pick up information I suppose.
|RC||You talk to people, you stop people (?) (...INAUDIBLE...), Yeah.
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|CW||Very exciting for you isn't it?
||Yeah, yeah yeah, no I mean (...INAUDIBLE...), elected cause I've got a number of options, irrespective of what happens, I don't, I don't go there I will (...INAUDIBLE...), erm, (...INAUDIBLE...), erm (...INAUDIBLE...)on the, on the manufacturing and energy side (...INAUDIBLE...)a number of people, (...INAUDIBLE...), jobs with them (...INAUDIBLE...)
||So you will decide erm about those other jobs will you, erm after your, after you know about whether your going in to the Lords.
|RC||Yeah, some of and as I've said to everybody I'm not going to make any decisions until I know, you know I, I (...INAUDIBLE...) I mean if that's in your time scale.
||Yes, yeah it is, yeah that would be erm fine for me really.
|RC||Who else would you be looking to put on, what type of people?
|CW||Erm I definitely I'm looking for someone who has a good business background, a banking kind of background actually, someone with a legal background, erm I'm I think I should probably be talking to maybe a conservative, though I don't know who. Erm, I was wondering about a former civil servant, erm I don't know if you have any recommendations or thoughts.
||In civil servants, erm I think the best thing to do is to let me know what portfolios you know what, what your looking for, the banking (...INAUDIBLE...), if you just let me know what you think your portfolio's going to be.
|Yes, well at the moment it looks like health in terms of elderly care, erm it looks like defence erm in terms of getting contracts with the MoD pretty much, erm housing and infrastructure and transport, so big investment projects that the people from the Gulf can get involved with. And they are quite open, and quite interested in doing a number of things, erm but they're looking for big projects. So for instance with cross rail coming up, not cross rail sorry, well they could do that but I did wonder about the high speed 2.
|RC||High speed 2.
|CW||That's something else that.
|RC||There is a big announcement tomorrow.
|CW||Oh is there.
||That the high speed links, up in Manchester and Leeds possibly and (...INAUDIBLE...) to London.
|RC||Would then I think (...INAUDIBLE...)
|CW||It would go across.
||So that, that's going to be a big announcement. The big infrastructure developments clearly are going to be on high speed rail. The other one's going to be on energy on a whole green energy agenda.
|CW||Yeah, so renewable.
||It's renewable, its nuclear, its carbon capture, they are the big infrastructure development. And because what we're trying to do is position nuclear (...INAUDIBLE...) UK Limited (...INAUDIBLE...), not just supply our own (...INAUDIBLE...) but to use it as a base for international development.
||And what you've got with Roath (?), I'm saying (...INAUDIBLE...), you've then got, they want to become, as they have done in the aerospace smart (?) partner, and they want to be smart partner (?)and (...INAUDIBLE...) And (...INAUDIBLE...), What we are going to announce next week on the Rolls/Roath (?) are involved (...INAUDIBLE...) partners between the two big (...INAUDIBLE...),
||And therefore we will look, cross rail, development (...INAUDIBLE...), on them so we've got some very good engineers. And we've got, and what, with Rolls/Roath (?) we're looking at how you can take the, the aerospace manufacture or defence manufacture into the nuclear (...INAUDIBLE...) That, that area it's huge.
|CW||And do you have a background in that because of your work, work? It's obviously one of your specialist areas.
|I'm an engineer. And so that, that is, and the other big one it really is health service, I mean we're spending a hundred billion pounds a year on a health service and it's got to move to prevention rather than cure and that is a big, that's a big issue, I mean how, how that will develop can be extremely interesting. And this thing we're going to do in Sheffield if we ever get off the ground, to look at this in a whole new structure of wellness not an ambulance service, not health service, but a wellness service, which then impacts.
|CW||How does that work practically, does that mean they need to get contracts from the local, I don't know PCTs or the local councils.
|RC||No, we've, we've, what we're thinking of doing is putting, well I'm trying to get Liam Donaldson, Liam Donaldson is the Chief Medical Advisor.
|CW||Ah right yes.
||Top man and he's resigning, retiring, anyway come to you know Sheffield, so I've got two Vice Chancellors, I've got the head of the (...INAUDIBLE...), we're going to bring the Chairman of ?, David (...INAUDIBLE...), and there would have been two or three leading industrialists there (...INAUDIBLE...), And we're going to put together a strategy and if we set a Wellness Council up and from that we ran, this is where the Government comes in, it's got to give us the authority and the finance to do that. We would then paint a strategy, you will bring education into that, it would bring community into that, (...INAUDIBLE...), we would then be very strict in people who would have access.
|CW||To that, yeah.
||So you'd have the, we'd get all GP's in, so they would have a referral, so it's not stuffing more pills down, it's saying no, you've got to start with exercise, or you've got to start with dieting and if you want your operation, then you've got to achieve this objective, if you don't and if we're really, really tough, say no, sorry, you've got to do it.
|CW||It would be through this scheme that they have to do it.
|Yes that's right and its got to have, you know, it's got people to take more responsibility for their own well being than they have at the moment. It is too easy to turn the tap on the NHS (...INAUDIBLE...) bank and it cannot, it's got to stop (?) and this is, David asked me to go and see, David (...INAUDIBLE...), we had lunch a few weeks ago and he's been (...INAUDIBLE...) and he's just rescued the Shropshire Hospital that was in put in special measures he was the guy who went down and did that. Very good guy. And he used to shift over the next four to five years I just want to try to, to, to shift the whole debate, culture onto a, a (...INAUDIBLE...), trying to get a resolution to what we can do with the Health Service long term. And it always comes back to the wellness of the nation and that's how it...That's not so much to your client (...INAUDIBLE...),
|CW||It's just quite interesting actually about you influence policy.
|RC||Well we were making, we would ask Government to (...INAUDIBLE...) to us and that we're very high powered with Vice Chancellors of Universities, Chief Executives of Local Authorities along (...INAUDIBLE...)discuss, we, we, do it to industry as well, as well as the schools, we do it to industry, you do the whole thing of saying look, these are the targets we want obesity, these are the targets for physical activity, these are the targets that we are going to achieve collectively.
|CW||Have you managed to get the Department of Health on side about it?
|Well that's why Liam Donaldson is key, cause Liam Donaldson doesn't come up and I, Liam and I work together, he set, I set up, he and I set up the first doctor sport and exercise (...INAUDIBLE...), which was a, quite a feat in itself, but that's another issue. This was about all the wellness agenda, it was really about that, and he and I, and if I can get Liam to come on to our Board, that's a big, big, sign and he is very, very influential. Really, really nice man, usually quite (...INAUDIBLE...)and if you could put people like that on the Board with strong local influence, vice-chancellor (...INAUDIBLE...) and liaise with the hospital structure, then, the you are in with a possibility of saying we, I ask my self the question what's Government got to lose? He says to us, cos it's restructured the bloody health service that many times, trying to achieve an objective and he's never done it. And this is the discussion that David and I had, and he's saying, oh by the way, the other interesting thing, (...INAUDIBLE...), the other interesting thing is that David is the Honorary Consul in South Yorkshire, (...INAUDIBLE...) Yorkshire, for Finland and he has been to Finland and he has seen what they have done on physical activity where they've taken that nation over twenty five years ago, the worst nation for coronary heart disease in the world, now to well above average.
||Yes, and it is a fantastic and he's still involved in that and that's moving from prevention to cure. And they've done that, very, very effectively, you think, ok, that's a small nation, seven or eight million people something like that. But what's he's saying is we need to do it on a economy of scale that is big enough, well Sheffield is half a million people, its got all the institutions that you want at a fairly high level, hospitals and industrial premises. So if we ring fence and say so that's what we're going to do for the next five years, this is how we're
|CW||So it's a kind of pilot in a way?
|RC||Yeah, yeah, yeah, I don't know, it may come off, I don't know, it may come off I don't know.
|CW||Oh wow it sounds really exciting and presumable if you have erm Liam Donaldson on the Board, that the Department of Health thinks, well it must be a good idea?
||Oh yeah, he, he (...INAUDIBLE...), big tick. So we're having a dinner with him in a few weeks time erm, and we are going to have all the executives there, around the table, and we're just going to knock a few ideas together. And then we may well, after the election put proposition again and say well, you know, we would like to do this, this is what we want you to do.
|CW||Do you think a Conservative Government would be up for doing it?
|I would think so, you know, I, cause they, whoever's in power they've got a bloody big problem with the Health Service, it, it, it's a huge expense, a hundred billion pounds a year, going up. And you're not addressing the underlying fault of health, which is the wellness agenda. In fact unless you start addressing that in a fairly radical way. So I think it will appeal to er it will appeal to (...INAUDIBLE...) because if we could actually crack it and get that activity levels and like they do the schools, that's why I become more and more confident, because as I say as we've lifted, continue to lift the level of physical activity in schools. that's what starting to happen and that change is good change.
|CW||It's very interesting isn't it.
|RC||Oh yeah, it's fascinating.
|CW||It must be quite exciting to be involved with something like that?
||Oh yeah, I love it, yeah, I mean, that's why I've been Minister for ten years and I've enjoyed it all you know. And that's, you know, it's the sport for me, engineering, manufacturing, where I've got a bit of expertise, you know.
|CW||It's interesting what you say about the House of Lords actually, I hadn't, I hadn't quite considered erm, how useful it can be to have a consultant or a Board member who's in the Lord's, it will be very interesting.
|RC||It's, it's. All this is all about contacts, it really is, it's not even, not so much always about influencing things, it's about getting information. And that, that's absolutely key, because if you can get information that is very powerful. And it's how do you actually operate in those circles to extract that.
|CW||So that you can work out where you should be expanding?
||Yeah, where you are expanding, where you've got policy development and the big macro picture of where do you want to be taking the nation's policies, whether it's on health, issues like the green energy agenda, climate change agenda. They are the big issues. And out of that comes opportunities.
|CW||Yes, yes for your business.
|RC||That's right, that's where it comes from and that's where, at the moment, and I, I don't see it changing dramatically, transport is still the big issue, green energy agenda is still a big issue, the health of the nation is a big issue. the all three big (?) and that's what's got to be addressed, how you address.
|CW||I know, just have to wait and see.
||But again, you know, you see, going back to your client, it depends what are they, you know, what are they into, you know in those areas, what type of portfolios, you know, they're looking for. Are they all Americans?
|CW||No, the guys in the Gulf aren't.
|RC||Oh they're not Americans working.
|CW||No, no they're not, no, one has an American wife, but no, they're not American.
|RC||And how long have you worked with them then?
|CW||Not very long actually, my old, I used to work for a PR Company.
||Who did you work for?|
|CW||And my old boss now works in the American office.
|RC||Oh I see.
|CW||In San Francisco, so erm, when they wanted to pull something together in London, he called me up and said oh, you know, would you do it?
|RC||And that's who you're working for, not ...?
|RC||So you're on your own, are you working for Anderson's now?
|CW||Yeah, yeah, I'm working there now and I've kind of just taken on three other people to be full time members of staff, erm, and I'm going to take on some other consultants and maybe some people on retainer. And as we grow, then you just hope to take erm, more full time members of staff on really.
||So you are head of office here then?|
|CW||Yes I am, who would have thought?
|RC||Yeah, yeah, what, what, what was the portfolio that Red Rooster used, I know the name, but.
||It was more kind of consumer work um really. So, whether it was kind of um, I don't know, alcoholic drinks for instance, you might have a brand like a big pub brand um, you'd be doing stuff for, so you'd be doing PR for them. And trying to think of strategies to get them some good kind of press and also manage their brand er generally. But it was largely consumer which is fun um. But I think this would be potentially far more interesting because it's far more varied. And it won't just be press relations um you know, I can do a number of things which is better.
||Um, I want to bring someone in who can kind of help our clients to do some due diligence in the UK. If they're looking at doing investment, you need to know what you're getting involved in and who you're being involved with um. So, I'd be looking to maybe farm that work out initially and then when we've got enough of it in the UK, then you can bring someone in to specialise in that view.
||How big are, how big are they, Anderson, in the States?
|CW||Fairly big, I think we're probably a medium size er company. They've got about 100 um full time members of staff, it's quite a big office in San Francisco.
|RC||Is that, that's the base, San Francisco, yeah?
||Yeah. And they're quite er specialised. They're quite low key actually. They're not one of these kind of big agencies that kind of shouts about what they do, it's more that they kind of operate effectively er without making too much noise.
||You started in 1970s, there were five that started.
||Yeah, yeah, quite a long time ago.|
|RC||Two brothers wasn't it?
|CW||Yes, it was two brothers, yeah.
||I read up that and er are they still around?
|CW||Er one of them has retired but yes, one of them is
||Yeah, yeah and it's still runs the family.
|CW||Not so much anymore actually, no I think it, well things start to expand don't they? I think you can sort of start off as a family business um and then it changes.
||Yeah cause they did quite a lot on the, on the, on the local authority service industry on things like sewerage and water and at that didn't they?
|CW||Yes, I think that's when they started, they had some clients that were involved in that kind of thing.
|RC||Yeah, they did yeah, yeah, quite big.
||And then it expanded. And actually it's quite interesting to do such varied work. If you can, you know, as we both probably know, getting contracts at a kind of like local Government level can be very beneficial. And also, it's quite dependable er work um.
||Yeah, oh yeah, yeah. And I think that, and that until they decide to come into the EC.
|CW||Yeah, mainly because their clients, their clients said to them "look, we've got a number of interests here, well our interests are growing in the UK and now we need some support to do that", so one of the, that's why I think the board would be so important really in terms of mapping out what the strategy should be.
||And you would expect your client to come to you and say, for advice or saying "this is what we'd like to do, what do you think?"
|CW||Yes exactly. And also, I think they probably expect from us some ideas in what they should be doing. So, for instance, you know, look you said you were interested in kind of getting involved in big transport ....project, so why don't you think about investing in this? Here's some figures, this is what's going to happen. You know, consider it and then come back to us and we can do some further work, is the kind of thing you're up for.
||And is it, there's not going to be anything on the energy agenda?
|CW||No, not at the moment. It's largely these um gulf guys that, they're very interested in getting involved in renewables er because they see it as a massively expanding market.
|RC||(...INAUDIBLE...), the Gulf is going nuclear as well now.
||Ah yes I don't, well I don't know very much about energy you see. I don't deal with them very much um so, I.
|RC||Oil (?)(...INAUDIBLE...) is going to run out (?)(...INAUDIBLE...) problem with the (...INAUDIBLE...) without oil (...INAUDIBLE...), I mean it's (...INAUDIBLE...), I mean (...INAUDIBLE...), slow in like Dubai they're desperate to make it into sport, (...INAUDIBLE...) and others are truly diversifying to, to get more sustainability of the economy. But one of the other (...INAUDIBLE...) is trying to stop using oil powered generation because it's better if it's (...INAUDIBLE...) so they, they see (...INAUDIBLE...) so it's er, so that part of it is very interesting, very interesting.
||Yeah, it's certainly worth speaking to them about that actually, to see what their thoughts are. So it may be that, that's one of the issues there um considering.
|RC||No it's um, it's er and that more and more and more is coming out of the States, out of the, out of the Gulf (...INAUDIBLE...) states, I agree with you as we will.
||But that who gets the contracts, supply chain for the (...INAUDIBLE...) is about 20 percent, it's a bit like the Aerospace industry in that they can build a plane with money the, the, the electronics, the engine, the undercarriage, they're, they're the key components because that's where the real big money is. And with the nuclear generators, it's about 20 percent of it that is really high value. The rest of its bog standard stuff, you know, which any (...INAUDIBLE...) company can do it's, but if you can get into the niche market, that er 20 percent of that new build that's where the real wealth creation is and that's what we're looking at now.
||That's quite an interesting (...INAUDIBLE...). But clean up is another one which we, we (...INAUDIBLE...), again, the Americans are bloody good at that (...INAUDIBLE...) so er, but my other expertise obviously is in sport.
|CW||Yeah. Yeah, it will be interesting to see what happens. Are you involved with the er World Cup bid?
||For (...INAUDIBLE...) 18, I'm (...INAUDIBLE...) Ambassador.
|CW||Oh great, well that must be interesting.
||That will only be while the Prime Minister's there. While the Prime Minister is about, so knows, who knows, (...INAUDIBLE...) moving around like there was no tomorrow, so.
|CW||Yeah, I know it's a really kind of changing time isn't it politically?
||Oh dramatically absolutely dramatically really is. So, what, by the time we get to the 6th of May I just don't know. It will be very, very interesting.
|CW||Do you think it's too late for um people to be getting contracts for the Olympics? Or they don't miss a vote in terms of.
||Depends what you er, if you're talking er, there'll be a big legacy (...INAUDIBLE...) for (...INAUDIBLE...) there'll be a lot of reconfigurating er which they're looking at now or started looking at um. I, I mostly do the um, the thing I set up called 'UK School Games'.
|Which um brings the elite of the schools and bit by bit we go to, we move it around, it's been in Glasgow now, Coventry (...INAUDIBLE...) and get to Sheffield and then I'm trying to get, immediately after (...INAUDIBLE...)Olympic (...INAUDIBLE...) and UK School Games I've got a scheme where, which I've been talking to Justin King from Sainsbury's he's a good guy, to do a scheme to bring 70 kids, every secondary school in the country to experience the facilities of the UK Olympics and watch their peer group. And that's about a quarter of million kids to bring in all that (...INAUDIBLE...) the games in the facility. And be there for the Olympics and the Para-Olympics. So, we're working on that. And what we've, the reason I'm telling you that is because, we are looking (...INAUDIBLE...) people who are going into legacy, they are looking at how they can then change the stadium from 90,000 seats down to 25,000 seats. They're talking about reconfigurating some of the arenas, they're looking at landscaping the parks, seeing how that can be re-configurated into a much more er open grass areas. So, there's a lot of work in that, you know, so.
|RC||But whether, that will be laid out I think in the next 12 months er. I mean, the whole facilities are ahead of schedule which is great er, we're on budget er so that, all that really is, has now been put to bed, you know, just a matter of (...INAUDIBLE...) There will be a little, a few contracts around on the running of the games er. But no, there won't be huge contracts, there'll be catering contracts.
||I'm just wondering if there's anything the um investors in the Gulf would want to get involved with.
|RC||I think they'll be more after than before, if you see what I mean?
|CW||Yeah, in terms of reconfiguration.
||Re-configure it again, yeah, reconfiguration and there'll be, there'll be quite some big contracts being made in the next 12 months on the catering part, things like that but um, that's on the consumer side, yeah, not on structural side.
|CW||No, okay. Well listen thank you very much for.
||What you doing? You're reporting back to your boss.
|CW||Yeah, I'll report back to him over the next week or two I think um and then they'll be coming over from the states um and they'll be setting out to meet with anyone that um I will be short listing. So, I don't know if you'd be around to maybe meet up with him.
||When would that be roughly?|
|CW||Probably sometime in April, I'd think, now.
|RC||Yeah, yeah well I'll be around in April, not necessarily down here because obviously, the campaign probably will have started (...INAUDIBLE...) I think that's when it's starting, about 8th April.
||Okay, alright. So, that might be tricky for you then, meeting up in April, um.
|RC||Well I can always pop down (...INAUDIBLE...) meeting (...INAUDIBLE...) er, but it won't be in the House cos the House will be shut completely
|CW||Yes, it'll be funny won't it? Yes.
||(...INAUDIBLE...) finished so er, if you come across before the 30th, I think the 30th of March or possibly that first week in April, we will still be sitting.
|RC||I think we'll sit till about, probably about the sixth of April (...INAUDIBLE...) so I'll be around in London all that time.
|CW||Oh okay, good.
||Yeah, so but after that, you'll, well you got my numbers, you can (...INAUDIBLE...)
|CW||Yeah I will, well yes I'll let you know how it's all progressing and it would be good to um meet again.
|RC||Yeah, I'd like to, yeah, yeah, absolutely, I'd like to keeping touch, I'm always interested in what's happening anyway, you know, I mean and er you know, in that (...INAUDIBLE...) I can probably just give you a bit of advice if er (...INAUDIBLE...)
||(...INAUDIBLE...) I'm open to bringing investment into the country, you know, that's what you really want. I did that when I was in trade and industry and then er, if you can get a base here. I think that you're right in what you're doing, you need to have presence.
|RC||01:34:51||(...INAUDIBLE...) but if you really want to service your client, then, all the companies I know are (...INAUDIBLE...) London (...INAUDIBLE...) their office is here in London.
|CW||Yeah, well I think it's important too. Well it shows your serious doesn't it?
||It shows you're serious, it shows your commitment, it's far better for picking up intelligence, it's (...INAUDIBLE...) you know, you can use that to set dinners up with people. If I was doing it with you I would set up a whole series of dinners up with people who I know who link up to your clientele. (...INAUDIBLE...) (...INAUDIBLE...) (...INAUDIBLE...) invite them to come and have dinner.
||Yeah and who would you think the kind of top people would be that you'd need to be talking to?
|RC||Well, I mean, it would depend on what level they're at, I would speak to people like Samir Brikho (...INAUDIBLE...) AMEC and, (...INAUDIBLE...) just below him and in terms of construction (...INAUDIBLE...) if it's on the energy agenda would be various supply chain companies then (...INAUDIBLE...) just invite(...INAUDIBLE...)because I know quite a lot (...INAUDIBLE...) I mean, I had a great, great session in the House where I had five Vice Chancellors, two Secretaries of State and six energy companies.
||It was bloody good. It wasn't about a particular contract it was a discussion about where is UK Limited in a supply chain for Areva and Eon, British Energy were there er and then five Vice Chancellors and John Denham [?] it was a really, really good discussion.
|CW||How easy is it to get a Minister to go out for dinner?
||Oh I mean, it depends on who it is. I think. It depends at what level they're at. If you are going to go in, if you're going to go in, we had, I did it with AMEC, Samir Brikho, their MD, great guy, big profile and he was in the Sunday Times and (...INAUDIBLE...) he's a real incredible thinker, he thinks out of the box and he said to me: Why don't we, don't we bring academia, producers and (...INAUDIBLE...) supply as well as (...INAUDIBLE...) producers (...INAUDIBLE...), Secretary of State for Energy and the one for Schools and so I set all that up. Now they came to that, they came to it because the quality of people sitting round the table and that's, to some extent, what you have to do. If you're talking policy on that level, then they'll come, you know and the right time. If it's all about limited contracts then, (...INAUDIBLE...) it'll be left to underlings.
||Is it best to do that in Westminster do you think, for dinner, or to go out for dinner?
|RC||I'd do it at Westminster cos it's easier for them. It's easier for them to pop in, you see. And er, you have dinner and they're booked after it anyway. But then it depends, you know, there after with the process, you know, they will come on certain levels, (...INAUDIBLE...) you know, senior civil servants.
||And are they alright at coming along for dinner?
|RC||Oh yeah, yeah, they're alright. Well, they always, it's all about networking. You're feeding them as much as they're feeding you.
|CW||Yeah, and would you be able to help us with that?
||Yeah, yes, oh yes, I have a lot of people coming in. I have people like Rolls Royce (...INAUDIBLE...) this week, I had a meeting with a non executive director of Sellafield and an MP together. It's about bringing them in, but again, it depends what you're after, depends what you're trying to achieve.
||I mean, I think, I think if you're bringing in clients that are big hitters, then they will get in to see Secretaries of State and they will go and see Secretary of State for Climate and Energy, DECCA, off to see the Prime Minister. If Samir Brikho wants to see the Prime Minister, Samir Brikho sees the Prime Minister. He's a FTSE 100, he's got a huge amount of clout here, obviously, and abroad.
||And do you help him arrange that or does he do that?
|RC||Yes I do it, and the Minister of Energy. (...INAUDIBLE...) And they come back to me and ask me about my dates? But that's in the present climate. What will happen after six of er, sixth of May I don't know.
|CW||I know, we'll have to see.
||We'll have to see, yeah, that's why I'm um, we're trying to design a whole series of options.
|RC||We are where we are (...INAUDIBLE...)
|CW||I know, yeah.
||So, er we'll keep in touch.
|CW||Yeah, let's keep in touch and er I'll speak to you over the next couple of weeks.
|RC||And if your guys come down, I can make it, I, you know, if you give me enough time, I can work around it and er...if it's whilst House is sitting fine, if it's not then, then I'll look at it from (...INAUDIBLE...) and have a chat to them and see what, you know and, and yeah, yeah, kick a few ideas about.
||Yeah, I'm sure we can work something out. Okay, alright, that was really good.
|CW||Yes, I will. Yeah, that sounds really good.
|CW||Yeah I bet. Alright, okay. Thanks very much for your time, alright, have a good afternoon, bye.
||Hi, that's right, thank you. Thanks. That's great, thank you very much. Bye.
|[Knock at door]|
113. Letter to the Commissioner
from Rt Hon Richard Caborn, 8 June 2010
Thank you for your letter of the 24th May 2010 in
response to mine on the 21st May 2010, also your letter of 2 June
with the enclosed rough transcript of the Sunday Times
entrapment. Whilst I do appreciate your efforts in obtaining the
rough transcript would it be possible to secure the tapes and
the film referred to in the Sunday Times article. I am
informed that rough transcripts with all its (...INAUDIBLE...)s,
do not always give the true picture. I believe that this is the
case in this instance and that for the sake of accuracy of the
full interview access to the tape and film would be helpful.
Turning now to your questions in the letter of the
24th May 2010,
Question 2, has now been cleared up with the transcript
of the telephone call to my office where I made it very clear
I would not take on any further commitments until after the General
Election and then that would be conditional on what my circumstances
were at that time. It was only after the Reporter pressed for
a meeting did I agree and gave her the details of my secretary
to arrange. You are therefore right to conclude "that
there was no suggestion at that stage that I would have any role
in its activities."
Question 3, I am enclosing the requested information,
the letters of the clearance from ACOBA. My letter of the 29th
February 2008 informing ACOBA that it was my intention to accept
the appointments. Copy of my letter of the 6th March 2008 to [name],
the Registrar for the Register of Members Interests. This was
amended when I took up the position of a non-executive Director
of NMP in September 2008 and which I wrote to [the Registrar],
to amend my entry in the Register of Members Interest. I am enclosing
a copy of my letter to [the Registrar] of the 9th October 2008.
Question 4, I would like you to consider, the three
areas I covered in my evidence to the Select Committee on the
8th May 2008 (former Ministers taking up outside appointments,
covered in question 542-543 and 544) (How the business appointment
system could be improved, Question 548 and 585) (The difference
between Lobbying and Consultants and the interaction of Business
and Industry with Parliament and Government, Question 554, 555,
560 and 562).
This gives my position on these issues which I believe were consistent
with the way I conducted the Sunday
Times entrapment interview and are consistent
with the Rules of House.
Now turning to your questions in your letter of the
2nd June 2010.
Question 1, is covered in the documentation submitted
to Question 3 in your letter of the 24th May 2010.
Question 2, on the proposals for restructuring of
the health and welfare services in Sheffield which are covered
in the pages 18 and 57-63 in the rough transcript. No meetings
or contacts have been made with Ministers or officials, the idea
had been discussed with [name], Chairman of the Sheffield Heath
Authority at his request a couple of weeks before the Sunday
Times entrapment. I raised the issues
with FIA at one of our regular meetings as I had with other organisations
whom might be interested in the proposed project. This was an
idea very much in its infancy, but if in the future it was necessary
to make a declaration with my association with the FIA, I would
Question 3, from October 2007-July 2008 I advised
AMEC and the other two partners in the consortium on trade union
relations/socio economics and local government issues surrounding
the bid and AMEC on other issues. On no occasion did I speak or
consult with Ministers or government officials on this issue and
for the record any of the directors or staff of the Nuclear Decommissioning
Agency who were the body awarding the contract.
Question 4, I was asked by the Board of the NMP to
look at the delivery of the socio-economic policies. I reviewed
the existing proposals and with other interested partners at Sellafield
and the wider community of West Cumbria proposed a new structure
which after discussions with all the parties was accepted and
is now operational in West Cumbria.
i. In answer to your specific questions, yes
the statement was accurate but the work was carried out on behalf
of the Board of the NMP and not just AMEC.
ii. The task was undertaken by staff of the NMP
and consultants under my direction
iii. Having just stepped down from being a Government
Minister, this released time which I used to take a number of
appointments both paid and unpaid. It should also be noted that
my involvement with the Nuclear Industry was of great importance
and, benefit to my constituency Sheffield Central, this is born
out in the letters I submitted to your office from the past Master
Cutler and Peter Birtles, Director of Forgemasters. It is also
worth noting that at the Dinner of the 24th June 2008, referred
to in your question 6, both the MD of Forgemasters and Vice Chancellor
of Sheffield University were present and the issue of advanced
manufacturing and forging capacity were discussed. Two years later
in 2010, announcements on major investments by the Government
and Rolls Royce were made into the University led Nuclear Advanced
Manufacturing Park in Sheffield. This was followed with a Government
announcement on a major investment into what possibly could be
the worlds largest forging press at Forgemasters in Sheffield.
My involvement at a number of levels in the nuclear/manufacturing
sector have had a beneficial effect for my constituency and Sheffield.
Question 5, I have read the incomplete rough transcript
on pages 51 and 52 and it would be wrong to put the interpretation
"as suggesting that as a Member of the House of Lords
you could secure access to Ministers for the Company who retained
you on an advisory board". Firstly, I am not on or have
been offered or accepted any position on an advisory board. If
I had I would work as I have always done within the Rules laid
down by the House. Secondly, I had made it clear from the outset,
if I was in the House of Lords I would spend time on public policy
areas of green energy/manufacturing and sport and physical activity
and the wellbeing agenda. This is borne out in a number of references
in the rough transcript.
Question 6, The Dinner referred to on Page 82, was
not set up for AMEC, it was set up to facilitate a discussion
with academic[s], industry and Government Ministers on how they
could work together to maximise the UK's advantage on the building
of the new nuclear power stations. AMEC were one of the five industrialists
present. AMEC paid for the dinner and I declared on the booking
form of the House of Commons, my financial interest with AMEC
and all attending were told that AMEC had paid for the dinner.
The dinner took place on the 23rd June 2008 and the event number
was 33845, House of Commons Catering.
Question 7, on the statement from Samir Brikho in
the rough transcript is correct and "if
Samir Brikho wants to see the Prime Minister, Samir Brikho sees
the Prime Minister, he's a FTSE 100, he has got a huge amount
of clout here, obviously, and abroad." I
made the point that Chairman of major companies get access as
of right to both the PM and Ministers. I have never arranged one
to one meetings for Samir Brikho or any other industrialists with
the PM or any other Ministers.
I hope that this information and explanation helps
you with your enquiry and could I once again ask you to request
copies of the original tapes and film of the entrapment.
8 June 2010
to Rt Hon Richard Caborn MP, from the Chairman of the Office of
the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, January 2008
You asked for the Committee's advice about accepting
a part-time consultancy appointment with the Fitness Industry
Our advice is that it would be proper for you to
take up this appointment forthwith, but you should not be personally
involved in lobbying Government Ministers or officials on behalf
of the association, or its members, for a year after leaving office.
I should be grateful if you would inform us as soon
as you take up this appointment or, if earlier, when it is announced.
We shall otherwise not be able to deal with any enquiries, since
we do not release information about appointments which have not
been taken up or announced. This could lead to a false assumption
being made about whether you had complied with the Ministerial
Similarly I should be grateful if you would inform
us if it is proposed to extend or otherwise change your role with
the association, as, depending upon the circumstances, you may
need to seek fresh advice.
Once an appointment has been publicly announced or
taken up, we will include the main details, together with the
Advisory Committee's advice on it and the date on which it was
taken up, in both the regularly updated consolidated list on our
website at www.acoba.gov.uk and in the next annual report.
If the Fitness Industry Association wish to refer
to the Committee's advice in a public announcement, they may like
to say something on the following lines:
"Mr Caborn consulted the Advisory Committee
on Business Appointments about accepting this appointment. They
advised him that it would be proper for him to take it up forthwith,
but he should not be personally involved in lobbying Government
Ministers or officials on behalf of the association, or its members,
for a year after leaving office."
to the Office of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments,
from Rt Hon Richard Caborn MP, 29 February 2008
Following correspondence from yourselves giving me
permission to take on a consultancy with AMEC and a consultancy
with the Fitness Industry Association I can now advise you that
I have accepted both appointments.
29 February 2008
to the Registrar of Members' Interests, from Rt Hon Richard Caborn
MP, 6 March 2008
I would be grateful if you would add the attached
to my entry in the Register of Members' Interests.
6 March 2008
from the Register of Members' Interests, 29 February 2008
2. Remunerated employment, office profession etc
Consultant to AMEC; construction in the nuclear
industry. (£70 ,001-£75 ,000)
Consultant to Fitness Industry Association; trade
association for fitness industry. (£10,001-£15,000 +
two health club memberships)
Chairman of the Football, Social and Economic Forum,
Association of European Professional Football Leagues; governing
body of European professional football leagues. (Up to £5,000)
5. Gift, benefits and hospitality UK
I received gifts of thanks from various sporting
bodies once I had left the post of Minister for Sport (fishing
rod, golf clubs, decanter and glasses, bottle of whisky and wine).
I attended the Rugby World Cup Final in Paris on
2007 as a guest of Betfair. They paid for my travel
and accommodation costs.
29 February 2008
to the Registrar of Members' Interests, from Rt Hon Richard Caborn
MP, 9 October 2008
I would be grateful if you would add the attached
information to my entry in the Register of Members' Interests:
employment, office, profession etc:
I am a non-executive director of Nuclear Management
Also, please alter the entry, Consultant to AMEC
Consultant to AMEC (£20,000-£25,000)
9 October 2008
from Mr Caborn's evidence to the Public Administration Committee
on 8 May 2008, First Report of Session 2008-09, HC 36 II
Q542 Chairman: I am delighted to welcome Richard
Caborn, [names of other witnesses]. We have asked you to come
because the Committee is conducting an inquiry into lobbying.
One of the matters on which we want to touch is what is sometimes
called the "revolving door" issue, that is, the traffic
from government into the outside world, particularly industry,
business and lobbying, and also traffic the other way ...
Mr Caborn: The revolving door issue is an interesting
one and we will answer that, but there was a life before and a
life after being a minister, if I may say so. Whilst I have been
in this place and had the privilege of representing Sheffield
Central I have also spent five years as a Member of the European
Parliament and, before that, I was a convenor of shop stewards
at Firth Browns and now Forgemasters. I was Apprentice of the
Year. I served my time and am immensely proud to be an engineer.
As an engineer I have been consulted on many occasions. Before
the revolving door issue arose I was consulted by Forgemasters
to give advice on the building of a 16,000-ton forging press.
If Members want to join me afterwards I will take them to my office
and show them a picture on my wall of a 4,000-ton forging press.
I am very proud that that was the first thing I built when I came
out of my time as an apprentice engineer. I am advising Forgemasters
on building the largest forging press in the world to take on,
I hope, competition from Japan. In addition to that, I had European
experience and spent 10 years as a minister. Further, like yourself
I chaired a Select Committee, for four years on the Trade and
Industry Committee, which at that time covered energy. You will
remember that in the early 1990s the Department of Energy became
part of the Department of Trade and Industry. I was the first
chairman of that Select Committee which did a major report on
energy policy and the closure of 31 pits at that time. I do not
know why Ian McCartney and I have so excited some of members of
the Committee that we have been mentioned in dispatches all over
the place. It would be good to have an inquiry into why we have
been singled out, if I may say so. That being the case, I am more
than willing to answer "the revolving door". I do not
believe that the revolving door that has excited some of the members
of the Committee was anything to do with my being a minister;
it was my incarnation before that.
Q543 Chairman: We see you as representative figures;
we could have chosen others but happen to have selected you.
Mr Caborn: That is a good reason why.
Q544 Chairman: I am interested that you were Apprentice
of the Year, but I do not think there is any discussion as to
whether you are qualified to do the kind of work you are now doing.
That is a quite separate issue. I return to the question. Faced
with the prospect of pursuing these activities, you had to access
the business appointments system. Perhaps you would describe how
it worked for you.
Lord Warner: You ask how it was for me. People
have commented on how young and healthy I look since I ceased
to be a minister, so life has not been bad. Mr Caborn's point
is an important one. I shall not give you my life history, but
most of us did things before we were ministers. I was a minister
for only four years and I had a lot of expertise and knowledge
before that. It is that knowledge and expertise as much as anything
that has been the reason why I am doing the particular things
I am doing since I became a minister. As far as concerns the Advisory
Committee on Business Appointments I just accepted it as part
of life. After I ceased to be a minister I spent quite a few months
doing nothing. Last September about nine months after I ceased
to be a minister I went through a process of assembling a portfolio
of activities some of which needed to be cleared with the Advisory
Committee on Business Appointments and some of which did not.
I filled in the forms and sent them off. They dealt with them
in a reasonably sensible way and sent them back to me and said
what I could and could not do. The main thing they said I could
not do for the first year after being a minister was to lobby
ministers, whatever that means. We might come to what that means
at some stage. I have honoured that. In my first year out of office
the only time I saw ministers was at their request to talk about
Q548 Chairman: Presumably, you all think that to
have a process of that kind is necessary, or was it seen as irksome?
Mr Caborn: I think it is necessary. There needs
to be integrity and accountability in the system and that is part
of it. From my point of view the 12-month period is fine and is
absolutely right. The system must have that integrity. I have
always taken the view as chairman of the Select Committee and
during my 11 years as a trustee of the Industry and Parliament
Trust that it is absolutely right to try to bring industry and
wealth creators close to Parliament so there is an exchange and
an understanding of each other. I think that Parliament is the
richer for that.
Q554 Chairman: I would like to get you to answer
the question I asked which was: do you consider that the public
thinks there is something unseemly about people who are still
members of the legislature and working inside government taking
on paid employment to lobby bits of government in which they are
Mr Caborn: Obviously, you are going to lobby government.
I looked at the questions very carefully. You will know that I
was asked to come to this Committee late last week because my
colleague Ian McCartney is having an operation. I read the terms
of reference and some of the evidence that has been submitted
to the Committee. It is all predicated on an attempt to affect
Parliament and government. It is not about having a set of ground
rules to ensure that Parliament and government are accessible.
I go back to my earlier point. One thing I did when I was chairman
of the Select Committee on Trade and Industry was to ensure, as
far as I could, that Parliament was knowledgeable about what industry
was saying. My 11 years on the Industry Parliament Trust were
spent trying to bring Parliament and government closer to wealth
creators in industry and commerce. It is as though we have in
the House of Commons political virgins who cannot be touched by
anybody who seeks to lobby them.
Q555 Chairman: It is the fact that large sums
of money are involved in this relationship.
Mr Caborn: Let us come to that. The one interest
you did not read out was mine: AMEC. I can tell you that AMEC
for whom I am a consultant is more to do with my trade union and
European background. I am an engineer. I have dealt with North
Sea oil in which it has been deeply involved. I have also known
the past three managing directors of that company on a fairly
personal level. The reason I agree with the 12 months is that
I was a trade minister for two years and that could have affected
it. I think it was absolutely right that it should be 12 months
in terms of the conditions laid down. But I am not in the game
of lobbying government in that sense; I am there to advise on
the skills I had before I became a minister.
Q560 Mr Walker: For the record, I have nothing against
what any of you do, but ultimately business is about selling things
and influencing buying decisions. It is not the public sector;
it is about profit and the generation of it.
Mr Caborn: I accept that. There is no doubt that
when you have been a minister a number of people come to you.
I have been sports minister for a few years. I have now become
president of the Amateur Boxing Association and the UK School
Games and I advise the Prime Minister on the 2018 World Cup. I
am also a member of the Football Foundation. None of that is paid
work and I can assure you that I lobby very hard on those. As
far as AMEC is concerned, it has a major constituency influence.
If you look at the record, back in the mid-1990s I was very critical
of government about how we had missed fantastic opportunities
by standing down some of the best engineers and designers on the
nuclear kit. I said at the time Michael Heseltine was president
of the Board of Trade that we would rue the day we stood down
some great engineers and teams. Out of the blue I got a call directly
from AMEC asking whether I would advise them on some of the supply
chain issues, which I did. Obviously, that has a big constituency
interest. We could develop off the back of what I believe will
be a nuclear and manufacturing renaissance, which is at the heart
of my constituency and the company where I served my time. I was
already in discussions with companies in my constituency about
the supply chain when AMEC came along and asked whether I would
advise them on wider social, regional and European issues. Obviously,
being an engineer I agreed to that. I did not even know what they
would pay me; it was only after that. I say that very genuinely.
That was why I took the decision which was based more on my constituency
and something in which I deeply believed. I am on the record as
to that. I also say that having been in this place for 25 years
and served on many committees it needs to open itself up. You
are absolutely right that these types of inquiries should take
place but they should not be predicated on trying to isolate this
activity; they should be predicated on a set of rules on which
the vast majority of people act, whether on the business side
or our side, with integrity, honesty and openness. I entirely
agree that you must have ground rules but the need for an interchange
of ideas and views is absolutely essential. I have done that consistently
for 25 years. When I took this job I did so for those motives.
Q562 Mr Walker: But your ability to influence may
Lord Warner: It depends how quick it is. I think
that my ability to influence will be determined largely by whether
people think I still have something sensible to say on health
and social care and whether or not I am sufficiently well informed
about developments in the sector on which I am advising. They
may say that my time is up: I am out of touch and I do not know.
I think that will have more to do with the passage of time and
age than with a change of government.
Mr Caborn: I am in broad agreement with that. The
fact I have been a minister is a minor consideration. Given the
job I am doing now, it is much more to do with the background
that I have been privileged to have outside as well as inside
Q585 Jenny Willott: One matter that has been raised
with us in relation to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments
is that there is no enforcement; it does not follow up. When you
were given advice about what you could take up and for how long
the lobbying ban would be in place, did you have any impression
as to what would happen if you breached it?
Mr Haddrill: The thing that most concerned me was
that I would damage the reputation of my new employer. If this
is about integrity my new employer does not want there to be any
question about whether or not it has acted with integrity. The
fact that I have been through the business appointments process
was included by them in the press notice that announced my appointment.
I was perfectly open and said what the restrictions were. If I
had breached them in the kind of public space in which we operated
it would have been obvious and damaging. Therefore, there is a
kind of self-enforcement. Is there any further enforcement? You
write back after whatever period of time it is to say what you
have done and that is about it.
Mr Caborn: Having been privy for 10 years to the
discipline of public office, I believe that those standards are
inherent in the way you conduct your daily life, whether it is
in the business sector or anywhere else. It may well be that you
will look at some type of enforcement of the Advisory Committee
on Business Appointments. I agree that how it comes to its decisions
could be more transparent; it could be more rigorous. There could
be some face-to-face interviews, but the important point is: how
do you address public perception? The fact is that you are holding
this inquiry and there are journalists here who will probably
not report it in the most objective ways. Their business is to
sell newspapers. Without digressing, the fact that we are here
is rather like the funding of political parties and the constraints
on that. Are we using a sledge hammer to crack a nut here? I think
that phraseology has been used before. It is about having integrity
in the system to make sure it is transparent and robust. I think
that is absolutely central. Once you have got that it is a matter
of saying to the general public that that is what we have. I do
not think that is out there at all. The danger is that if we do
not have it people will become very concerned about anybody who
comes to discuss matters either with ministers or Members of Parliament
which to me is a negation of democracy.
to Rt Hon Richard Caborn from the Commissioner, 9 June 2010
Thank you for your letter of 8 June responding to
my letters to you of 2 June and 24 May.
You asked if I could secure for you the tapes and
the film referred to in the Sunday
Times article. As you know, the production
company has provided a certified transcript of both your telephone
conversation on 16 February 2010 and of your meeting. You will
have seen from the start of the transcript that, following the
preparation of a rough transcript from the production company,
a solicitor listened to the audio recordings, corrected the transcript
and certified that to the best of their knowledge, information
and belief, the transcript was accurate. As the statement makes
clear, there are parts where a word or words were (...INAUDIBLE...),
and these parts have been identified.
I consider that the production company has satisfactorily
met my request. They provided evidence in a way which is appropriate
for my inquiry. It is, of course, open to you to identify any
part of the transcript which you believe to have been inaccurately
transcribed. But given that I received a certified transcript,
which I have shared fully with you, I do not believe it is necessary
for me to have the original audio or video in order to be able
fairly to conduct this inquiry.
I was grateful for your responses to the matters
set out in my letters to you of 2 June and 24 May. Although some
of your responses touch on the same issues, you have not yet responded
to the specific questions which I put to you in section two of
my letter to you of 31 March. I referred to these again in my
letter to you of 18 May. I would be very grateful, therefore,
if you could let me have a response to these points, taking into
account as necessary the transcript of your interview. I would
hope you could let me have this by the end of this month. Once
I receive that, I will consider whether I need to ask you any
further questions either in response to that letter or in response
to the helpful detailed points you set out in your letter of 2
I am very grateful for your continued help with this
9 June 2010
to the Commissioner from Rt Hon Richard Caborn, 16 June 2010
Thank you for your letter of the 9th June in response
to mine of the 8th June 2010. Whilst I fully respect your views
of the transcript, which has been provided by the Sunday Times,
I still have concerns that major parts of the transcript are missing.
This concern is re-enforced by the experiences of colleagues,
particularly Lord Snape. His enquiry in the House of Lords required
obtaining a transcript from the Sunday Times. He later
received the tapes which were transcribed by Hansard, and they
were found to be significantly different.
Just a few points of concern
First point, how the transcript sequence goes from
00.55.51 on page 34 to 00.54.26 on page 35, this particular passage
is referred to in your question 2e, which I will answer.
Second point, the (...INAUDIBLE...) on 01.34.33,
I said at the beginning of this paragraph as the Former Minister
of Trade and Industry, which totally changes the meaning of the
Third point, Page 86 01.40.12, I said
Caborn alright "would
you please put it down in writing so that I can consider any proposition
after the Election." Again this puts
the script into a totally different context.
Finally on the transcript itself, could you please
indicate whether this has been treated by your enquiry as a conversation,
an interview or an entrapment? I believe this question is of paramount
importance to the enquiry and how such evidence is considered.
Turning now to your questions from the 31st March
2010. Can I say that I am sorry that I did not answer these in
previous correspondence as I thought they had been superseded
by your questions in subsequent correspondence.
Question 1, This has been answered in my letter dated
the 8th June in answer to your question 2.
Question 2a, this is a reference on page 24 of the
transcript. Where the FIA Statement to the Sunday
Times said that they gained access to
all types of people, including Ministers, as an organisation.
Regarding reference to my time as Minister, I endorse this statement,
as I met many organisations, including the FIA. They would just
write into the Ministry for a meeting. The second part of this
transcript, if the (...INAUDIBLE...)s had been transcribed, would
have been a reference to the workings of the Select Committees
and how they influenced both Ministers and Policy. On this specific
issue it is interesting what the Sunday
Times Editor is now saying about direct
access. In his letter to the PCC, enclosed, he is clearly saying
that the FIA did have direct access. That is why he omitted in
the article, to having any reference to the statement that was
directly to the newspaper by the FIA. However what the FIA said
is not borne out in the Sunday
Times article. This is subject to further
correspondence with the PCC.
The answer to your question is no, this was an explanation
on how the system works not an offer to influence or access Ministers
either before or when I had left the House. I have never accessed
Ministers or influenced Ministers through lobbying.
Question 2b, I have answered this question in my
letter to you dated the 8th June 2010 in question 5.
Question 2c, I have answered this in my answer to
2a. In answer to your specific question, no I have never arranged
any access for Health Ministers or any other Ministers for the
Question 2d, If you read the last paragraph on Page
29 and the first paragraph on Page 30, this was referring to the
South African Government and the South African Minister for Energy,
this is part of the (...INAUDIBLE...) transcript. The statement
is true about South Africa, and the meeting with the South African
Regarding Receptions and Meetings with AMEC, and
other organisations, I have always declared them within the rules
laid down by the House Authority.
Question 2e, I believe this question is a reference
to pages 34/35, regarding civil servants. I was speaking about
the time I was a Minister. The transcript is very confusing and
it moves from 55.55.51 to 54.26 of which there is no continuity
in the transcript. But very clearly to answer your question, no,
I have not set up any meetings with civil servants on behalf of
Question 2f and Questions 3 and 4, these have all
been answered in previous correspondence.
Question 5, I confirm that the allegations made by
the Sunday Times
are untrue and unfounded, as I told the House on the 29th March
and also the allegations of lobbying by Mr Greg Hands MP in his
letter to you of the 28th March 2010 are also untrue. I made entries
into the Register of the Members' Interests, and all the evidence
relating to this as already been sent to you in previous correspondence.
Question 6, I confirm that all my statements in the
transcript supplied are true and if a full transcript was provided
this would show the correct context in which they were made.
Mr Lyon, once again I have tried to answer all your
questions, posed by the entrapment, accurately and in detail and
in the context I believe that the entrapment interview was being
conducted. If you would find it helpful, I will be in London on
the 21St and 22nd June and I would be happy to meet with you,
rather than having to continue to send lengthy correspondence
in writing. If you do need any further information please do not
hesitate to contact me.
16 June 2010
to Rt Hon Richard Caborn from the Commissioner, 23 June 2010
Thank you for your letter of 16 June responding to
mine of 9 June following up our earlier correspondence.
I was most grateful for this prompt response. You
kindly suggested that we meet on 21 or 22 June. I received your
letter only on 21 June. While I am always ready to have an informal
meeting if you would like one, I think it would be best to take
your evidence in writing at this stage, although it may be helpful
when that is concluded (as I hope it shortly will be) for us to
meet for a formal interview so that I can conclude this inquiry.
I have noted your points about the transcript, for
which I was grateful. I note also the letter from the Sunday
Times to the Press Complaints Commission
(where the interviewer does not share your recollection of your
third point in relation to asking her to "put
it down in writing so that I can consider any proposition after
the Election.") I do not propose,
however, to include the Sunday
Times letter in the evidence for this
inquiry since I do not believe my inquiry requires me to enter
into your complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. As you
know, I am inquiring into a complaint about your actions when
you were a Member of Parliament, and not into the actions of the
But I have, of course, noted your firm belief that you were subject
to entrapment. The question I will need to resolve is whether
your actions in responding to the questions you were asked were
in breach of the Code of Conduct for Members and its associated
rules, as summarised in my letter to you of 31 March.
Turning now to your responses, it would be very helpful
to have a little more factual information about the receptions,
dinners and meetings you arranged on behalf of AMEC and the FIA
when you were being paid by them. The points on which I would
be grateful for your further help are as follows:
You say in your letter of 16 June in response to
point 'd' in my letter of 31 March that "regarding
receptions and meetings with AMEC and other organisations, I have
always declared them within the rules laid down by the House."
I have noted from the parliamentary website that you have sponsored
receptions or dinners on the parliamentary estate for the FIA
on 5 July 2007 and 3 December 2008, and for AMEC on 23 June 2008
and 11 May 2009. (I enclose the relevant extract from the published
list of events and functions bookings.)
Could you let me know the form in which you declared your interest
in these events and in any others which you sponsored on behalf
of any organisation which provided you with remuneration (declaration
is, of course, a separate requirement from registration)?
In respect of these events, do you have, or could
you ask the funding organisation to produce, copies of the invitations?
As you know, Members are required to identify their interest on
the invitation and I do need to check on this.
If you could let me have a reply to this within the
next two weeks, I would be most grateful. I can then consider
whether I do need to trouble you for a formal interview.
Thank you again for your help.
23 June 2010
from list of event and function bookings by Members on behalf
of outside organisations between 1 April 2004 and 30 September
|Caborn, Rt Hon Richard
||Fitness Industry Association
|Caborn, Rt Hon Richard
||Dining Room D
|Caborn, Rt Hon Richard
||Fitness Industry Association
|Caborn, Rt Hon Richard
||AMEC Post Reception Dinner
||Dining Room C
124. Letter to the Commissioner
from Rt Hon Richard Caborn, 1 July 2010
Thank you for your letter dated the 23rd June 2010
in recognition of mine of the 16th June 2010.
[Material not relevant to this inquiry]
Turning to your request for factual information about
the receptions, dinners and meetings I arranged on behalf of AMEC
and the FIA when I was being paid by them.
Firstly I did not arrange any meetings or receptions
for either of the organisations whilst I was being paid by them.
I did as your enclosure shows arrange dinners paid for by both
AMEC and the FIA.
1) The Reception referred to on the 5th July
2007 for the FIA, this was before I became a consultant for the
FIA. I registered my interest in the FIA in February 2008 after
it had been cleared by the office of the Advisory Committee on
the Business Appointments.
2) The AMEC Dinner on the 23rd June 2008. This
dinner was my initiative designed to bring industry, academia
and Government together to discuss the New Build Programme for
Nuclear Power Stations. I asked AMEC to Sponsor this dinner. My
office arranged with the Universities and Industry, the guest
list and sent out the invitations. My interest in AMEC was registered
in the Register of Members' Interests. I declared in the booking
form of the Banqueting Department of the House of Commons Section
4 (yes AMEC). The eleven people who attended the dinner were thanked
by me in my winding up remarks and AMEC thanked for hosting the
3) The Dinner on the 3rd December 2008 for the
FIA, my interest in the FIA was recorded in the Register of Members
Interest. The invitations were sent out by the FIA with my name
on as the sponsor for the event. I am enclosing a copy of a FIA
invitation which is similar in type to the one used for the event.
I have checked the banqueting form in the House of Commons and
whilst the FIA are the organisation I booked the dinner for, the
booking form does not record my financial interest (section 4
of the booking form). My office may have thought that the FIA
sending out the invitation covered this. Clearly this was an oversight
on my part and if it is a mistake, I take full responsibility.
4) AMEC Dinner of the 11th May 2009, again my interest
in AMEC was declared in the Register of Members Interests. Guests
at the dinner were invited by me from those who had attended the
AMEC Terrace Reception. The booking form at the Banqueting Office
Records (Section 4Yes AMEC). The eleven people who attended
the dinner were mentioned in my winding up remarks, thanked for
attending, as were AMEC for sponsoring the evening.
I hope this covers all the information you have requested
and again if you require any further information please do not
hesitate to contact me.
1 July 2010
to Rt Hon Richard Caborn from the Commissioner, 6 July 2010
Thank you for your letter of 1 July responding to
mine of 23 June following up our earlier correspondence.
First, on process. You asked whether, in the light
of your further letter of 16 June, I would now be requesting the
tape and video of your interview from the Sunday
I set out in my letter to you of 9 June my response
to your earlier request. As you know, I secured a certified transcript
of your interview and telephone conversation from the solicitors
of the production company who arranged for your interview. I do
not consider that what you say about the transcript which Lord
Snape received from the Sunday
Times is evidence that there are material
shortcomings in the certified transcript I have received from
the production company and which I have shown you. Where sections
are (...INAUDIBLE...), those have been identified. I have noted
the three points you set out in your letter of 9 June and will
take account of them as necessary in the course of this inquiry.
I have noted in my letter of 23 June that the interviewer does
not appear to share your recollection of the third point which
you made in your letter of 16 June. While I am open to further
argument, and to you identifying material inaccuracies which go
to the substance of this inquiry, at this stage I do not believe
it necessary or that I could be justified in asking for the video
Turning to the substantive issues I raised with you:
1. FIA reception, 5 July 2007. I note that you
did not register your position as a consultant to the FIA until
February 2008. Could you let me know, however, whether, at the
time of the reception in July 2007, you had a reasonable expectation
that you would be appointed a consultant and, therefore, that
a financial benefit would accrue to you from the FIA? I ask because
paragraph 73 of the Guide to the Rules (to which you may wish
to refer) provides in terms: "Where a Member's plans or degree
of involvement in a project has passed beyond vague hopes and
aspirations and reached a stage where there is a reasonable expectation
that a financial benefit will accrue, then a declaration explaining
the situation should be made."
2. FIA dinner, 3 December 2008. I have noted
that, for the reasons you have explained, you did not declare
your interest on the booking form. I note, too, that the FIA invitation,
which I understand followed the format which you sent to me in
respect of another Member's sponsorship of an FIA event, did not
identify you as a paid consultant to the association. I will need
in due course to check this with the House authorities.
3. The AMEC dinners of 23 June 2008 and 11 May
2009. I note that you declared your interest on the booking form
for both occasions. I note, too, that you thanked AMEC for hosting
the event. Could you confirm that, to the best of your knowledge,
there was no reference to your paid consultancy for AMEC on any
invitation which was sent out for either event? Could you also
confirm that you did not refer to your paid consultancy in your
winding-up remarks at either event?
4. AMEC Terrace reception. I note that the guests
invited for dinner for 11 May 2009 had attended the AMEC Terrace
reception. I had not identified this from the published list of
events and function bookings made by you and you have told me
in your letter of 1 July that you arranged no such reception for
AMEC when you were being paid by them. Could you let me know whether
you did in fact sponsor and book this reception and, if so, the
date of the event, whether you declared your interest on the booking
form, and whether your interest was noted on the invitation?
5. Finally, could you confirm that you arranged
no receptions, meetings or dinners with or for any other body
or organisation which also provided you with remuneration?
If you could let me have a response to this letter
within the next two weeks, that would be most helpful. I have
been most grateful for your prompt responses so far. Once I hear
back from you, if there are no further points, I would propose
to consult the House authorities about the arrangements for the
events which you sponsored. It may be that we should then meet
for a formal interview at what I hope then would be the conclusion
of this inquiry.
Thank you for your help.
6 July 2010
to the Commissioner from Rt Hon Richard Caborn, 9 July 2010
Thank you for your letter dated the 6th July 2010
responding to mine of the lst July 2010. I note your decision
on the tape and the video and whilst I accept your decision, I
do believe however that a newspaper that deliberately sets out
to trap and then fabricate the information from the entrapment
to discredit a person's 31 years public office and the institution
he worked for, should be made to produce the full evidence. Only
about 50% of the information has been made available even though
my lawyers, the PCC and yourself have tried to access all the
Turning now to your questions.
1) Prime Minister Mr Brown did not take up the
office until the 27th June 2007. I offered my resignation as Minister
to Prime Minister Brown, telling him that I would be retiring
at the next General Election. He accepted and asked if I would
be his World Cup Bid Ambassador, which I accepted. Before the
27th June 2007 and between the 27th June and the 5th July 2007,
I had no discussions with any person or organisation about any
paid position, including the FIA.
2) I have nothing further to add to the information
I gave you before, only to reiterate that I had registered my
financial interests with the FIA and I had clearly stated on
the booking form that the event was for the FIA. I had sent out
invitations with my name as the sponsor and my mistake on the
booking form was an oversight and in no way was I trying to deceive.
3) The dinner on the 23rd June was a dinner I
initiated, to discuss with different parties, the nuclear power
station, new build programme. I requested AMEC to sponsor the
dinner and my registration of Member's interest, the declaration
on the House of Commons Booking Form and the thanks I gave to
AMEC for sponsoring the dinner was sufficient to comply with the
House Rules. There were no formal invitations sent out. I did
not refer to my paid consultancy once, as I believed I had complied
with, both the spirit and intention of the House rules.
4) You are correct in believing I did not arrange
the 11th May Reception for AMEC, this I understand was arranged
by another MP. I took the opportunity to invite a number of guests
to the Dinner who attended the Reception, no formal invitations
were sent out for the Dinner and some of the guests were invited
on the night.
5) I can confirm that I have not arranged meetings,
receptions or dinners for any other bodies or organisations as
there are no other bodies that remunerate me. I have arranged
many other functions for charitable and sporting bodies for which
I have never received any payment.
I hope this information is useful and look forward
to the conclusion of this enquiry.
9 July 2010
to Rt Hon Richard Caborn from the Commissioner, 14 July 2010
Thank you for your letter of 9 July responding to
mine of 6 July with some follow-up questions to help me with my
consideration of this complaint.
I was most grateful for this prompt response. I am
now writing to the House of Commons facilities department to ask
for copies of the relevant banqueting forms, and for their advice
on the dinners which you held for AMEC and the FIA. When I have
their response, I will show it to your for any comments you may
wish to make.
Thank you again for your help on this matter.
14 July 2010
to Director of Catering and Retail Services, House of Commons,
from the Commissioner, 14 July 2010
I would welcome your help on a complaint I have received
against the Rt Hon Richard Caborn when he was Member for Sheffield
Central in respect of a meeting he had with an undercover reporter,
parts of whose content was reported in the Sunday Times
of 28 March 2010.
The matter on which I would welcome your help is
in relation to dinners which Mr Caborn sponsored using House of
Commons facilities for two organisations which were paying him
as a consultant.
The first organisation was the Fitness Industry Association
(FIA). Mr Caborn has told me that he sponsored a dinner for the
FIA on 3 December 2008. His interest in the FIA had been recorded
in the Register of Members' Financial Interests. Invitations to
the event were sent out by the FIA with him named as the sponsor
for the event. I enclose a copy of a similar invitation which
was sent out by the FIA for an event sponsored by another Member.
Mr Caborn has checked the booking form which he completed in advance
of this event, and has noted that, while he clearly stated on
the form that the event was for the FIA, the form does not record
in section 4 his financial interest. He believes that this was
an oversight, and, if it was a mistake, he accepts responsibility
I would be grateful if you could let me have a copy
of the relevant booking form. It would be helpful, too, if you
could confirm whether Mr Caborn was in breach of the rules in
not identifying on that form that he was paid by the FIA. Could
you also let me know whether in your opinion the House of Commons
Banqueting Terms and Conditions required Mr Caborn to identify
his financial interests on the invitation, or whether the format
used is acceptable within the rules?
Mr Caborn also sponsored dinners on 23 June 2008
and 11 May 2009 for the construction company AMEC, for whom he
was also a paid consultant. I understand that he declared a financial
interest on the banqueting form for each occasion. There were
no formal invitations sent out for either of these dinners. Invitations
were informal, some of them by word of mouth. Mr Caborn tells
me, however, that, in a speech winding up each event, he identified
AMEC as the sponsor of the dinner. He has argued that, as well
as having registered his interest in the Register of Members'
Financial Interests, the declaration on the House of Commons booking
form and the thanks he gave AMEC for sponsoring these dinners
were sufficient to comply with the House rules.
In respect of these two AMEC dinners, I would be
very grateful if you could let me have copies of the relevant
booking forms. I would be grateful also for your advice on whether
the identification of AMEC as the sponsor in Mr Caborn's speech
at each event was sufficient to meet his obligations in identifying
his financial interests under the banqueting rules of the House,
or whether Mr Caborn should have drawn to attendees' attention
financial interest in AMEC.
If you could let me have a response to this letter
within the next two weeks, I would be most grateful. I would then
copy it to Mr Caborn for any comments he may wish to make. Thank
you for your help.
14 July 2010
to the Commissioner from Director of Catering and Retail Services,
27 August 2010
I am sorry that it has taken so long to reply to
your letter of 14 July, but I believe that we now have all the
necessary information to allow me to answer your enquiry.
Dealing first with the event for the Fitness Industry
Association (FIA) on 03 December 2008, I enclose a copy of the
Private Dining Confirmation forms relevant to this dinner.
You will note that we received two booking forms, each of which
is only partially completed. One form was completed and returned
directly to our Banqueting Office by FIA as organiser of the event,
clearly naming the event as "Fitness
Industry Association Vanguard Dinner" and
advising contact and billing details. On this form, the Sponsor's
section is marked "already
completed" and "N/A",
and although the questions for the Sponsor have been answered,
this was crossed out prior to FIA forwarding the form to us. The
second form leaves blank the section headed "Organiser
to Complete", so makes no reference
to the name of the event. The Sponsor's section clearly states
response to the question "do
you have a declarable interest relating to your sponsorship of
this function?" This form is signed
by Mr Caborn.
Since December 2000, the terms and conditions of
booking for the banqueting service have included the following
requirements under the section dealing with declaration of interests:
"The Sponsor is directly and personally responsible
for the declaration of any relevant registered interest relating
to their sponsorship of a function." (para
"The Sponsor must complete the relevant section
of the Private Dining Confirmation Form to indicate whether there
or not there is a relevant registered interest. " (para
Thus, there was no requirement for Mr Caborn to declare
on the booking form itself that he was paid by the FIA, but if
he was, I would have expected him to respond "Yes"
to the relevant question on the booking form. The Private Dining
Confirmation Form specifically states that, if applicable, "Relevant
registered interest declared" must
be stated on the invitation to the event. This is also clearly
stated in paragraph 4.3 of the banqueting terms and conditions.
In my opinion, it is not adequate to merely display the organiser's
logo on the invitation, as this in itself gives no indication
of whether or not the sponsoring MP has any declarable interest
in the event. My opinion is consistent with the advice given to
Sponsors by staff of the banqueting office if asked.
I also enclose copies of the Private Dining Confirmation
Forms for the two dinners hosted by Mr Caborn on 23 June 2008
and 11 May 2009 for AMEC.
Both forms are signed and dated by Mr Caborn, who has clearly
confirmed that he does have a declarable interest relating to
his sponsorship of the function. The note to Sponsors printed
on the booking form instructing that "Relevant
registered interest declared" must
be stated on the invitation to the event was, thus, applicable
in both instances. If no formal invitations were issued for these
events, this does not remove the responsibility of Mr Caborn,
as Sponsor, to overtly and specifically declare to attendees that
he had a relevant interest relating to his sponsorship of the
27 August 2010
to the Director of Catering and Retail Services from the Commissioner,
2 September 2010
Thank you for your letter of 27 August responding
to mine of 14 July with the information to help me in the consideration
of a complaint against the Rt Hon Richard Caborn.
I was most grateful for this information. There was
one final point on which I would welcome your further help in
relation to the confirmation forms for the Fitness Industry Association
dinner on 3 December 2008. Mr Caborn has signed but not dated
the form he submitted and there is no signature or date on the
one from the FIA, although there is a fax line which suggests
that it was sent on 31 December 2006. Could you let me know whether
the Department has any record of when these forms were received
by it, and whether it might be reasonable to conclude that the
forms were submitted after the event.
I would be most grateful if you could let me have
a response within the next week as you will I know appreciate
both Mr Caborn and I would like to bring this matter to a conclusion.
I am grateful for your assistance.
2 September 2010
to the Commissioner from the Director of Catering and Retail Services,
6 September 2010
Further to your letter of 2 September, I can confirm
that we recorded receipt of the signed event confirmation form
from Mr Caborn on 23 October 2008 and the completed form from
the Fitness Industry Association on or around 4 November 2008
(ie both forms were received prior to the event).
The fax date of 31 December 2006 printed on the form
sent by the FIA cannot be correct, as we do not accept bookings
for events more than 18 months in advance.
6 September 2010
to Rt Hon Richard Caborn from the Commissioner, 7 September 2010
When I wrote to you on 14 July, I said that I was
writing to the House of Commons Facilities Department for information
about the dinners which you held for AMEC and the FIA in 2008
I have now heard back from the Department. I attach
a copy of my letter to the Department of 14 July; and their response
of 27 August with copies of the relevant private dining confirmation
forms which were completed for each of these three events. I enclose
also a copy of my follow-up letter of 2 September to the Department,
and their response of 6 September.
As you will see, it would appear that you signed
a confirmation form for the FIA dinner of 3 December 2008, stating
that you did not have a declarable interest relating to your sponsorship
of that function. You did declare your interest on the forms for
the AMEC dinners of 23 June 2008 and of 11 May 2009.
In respect of the FIA dinner, the Department says
that they would have expected you to have recorded on the booking
form that you had a relevant registered interest if you were paid
by the FIA (as I believe you have accepted). They have also advised
that it would not be adequate merely to display the organiser's
logo on any invitation to the event in order to comply with the
requirement that any relevant registered interest declared must
be stated on the invitation.
In respect of the AMEC dinner, the Department has
noted that any relevant registered interests declared should have
been stated on the invitation, but if no formal invitations were
issued, you would still have had a responsibility overtly and
specifically to declare to attendees that you had a relevant interest
relating to your sponsorship of the dinner.
I would welcome any comments you may wish to make
on the advice from the Facilities Department. In particular, since
I understand from your evidence that no written invitations were
sent out for either of the AMEC dinners, it would be helpful if
you could address the implication of the Department's advice,
which is that you should have made a specific reference to your
registrable interest in the speeches which you gave at both events.
It would be helpful if you could let me have a response
to this letter within the next week so that I can bring this inquiry
to a conclusion. I should say that I am planning to prepare a
memorandum to the Committee on Standards and Privileges on my
inquiries, although you should draw no inferences from that. You
are one of a number of Members who have been subject to a complaint
in respect of this matter. Once I have concluded my inquiries
on each of these complaints, I will be preparing a draft memorandum
for the Committee. I will show you the relevant sections of the
factual sections of that memorandum so that you can check on their
accuracy. I will then prepare my conclusions and submit the full
memorandum to the Committee. The Clerk of the Committee will send
you a copy of that full memorandum so that you can comment on
it if you so wish before the Committee come to consider the matter.
Thank you for your help.
7 September 2010
to the Commissioner from Rt Hon Richard Caborn, 10 September 2010
Thank you for your letter dated the 7th September
I have little to add, re:-the AMEC dinners, to the
comments I made in the letter to you dated the 1st July 2010.
No invitations were sent out, they were small dinners, I thanked
AMEC for sponsoring the dinners, most if not all attendees knew
of my consultancy with AMEC but I cannot recall specifically spelling
that out on either of the two dinners.
On the FIA Dinner I thank you for providing the information
sent from the banqueting department which goes some way to explaining
how mistakes were made in filling out the forms. Unlike the AMEC
dinners, where both the single booking forms were sent through
my office in the House of Commons, for some reason the FIA Dinner
had two booking forms, one sent by my office and the other by
the FIA. Why that was, I do not know, but may go some way in explaining
why my office thought all the relevant information had been sent
by the FIA to the banqueting department clearly that did not give
the correct information to the banqueting office and for which
I take full responsibility.
On the question of notifying those present at the
FIA dinner of my consultancy with them, I thought that my registration
in the Members' Register of Interests, my name on the invitation,
my thanks to the FIA for sponsoring the dinner in my closing speech,
covered the House rules. Clearly now that it is brought to my
attention, I should have made specific reference to it, to have
totally complied with the rules.
I genuinely hope that this information can now bring
this complaint to a final conclusion.
10 September 2010
to Rt Hon Richard Caborn from the Commissioner, 13 September 2010
Thank you for your letter of 10 September responding
to mine of 7 September with some further information about this
I was most grateful for this response. Subject to
one point of clarification, I consider that I have now concluded
my inquiries on this matter. The point of clarification is whether
your office sent out invitations to the AMEC dinner held on 23
June 2008. I see at point 2 of your letter of 1 July, to which
you referred, that you thought at that stage that your office
had sent the invitations for that dinner. But you say in your
letter of 10 September, or you had also said in your letter of
9 July, that no invitations were sent out since they were small
dinners. For the sake of completeness, could you just confirm
whether or not invitations were sent out for that dinner?
Subject to your response, I will now complete work
on preparing the draft factual sections of my memorandum for the
Committee on Standards and Privileges, as set out in my letter
to you of 7 September. I will be back in touch when this work
is concluded so that you can comment if necessary on their factual
I look forward to hearing from you about the one
13 September 2010
to the Commissioner from Rt Hon Richard Caborn, 15 September 2010
Thank you for your letter dated the 13th September
requesting further clarification of the invitation to the dinner
held on the 23rd June 2008 that AMEC sponsored. They were no formal
invitations sent out for the dinner.
My office sent out letters to some of the invitees
and that is the reference in the 1st July letter, the letter was
as much to inform those invitees of the reason for the dinner
i.e in discussions about Nuclear New Build, as the arrangements
for the dinner.
Some invites were sent out by Sheffield University
Vice Chancellor who selected the University invitees. Industry
reps at the dinner were similarly invited, some by my office some
by other invitees.
I hope this now clears up the issue you raised and
brings this enquiry to a conclusion.
15 September 2010
to Rt Hon Richard Caborn from the Commissioner, 16 September 2010
Thank you for your letter of 15 September responding
so promptly to mine of 13 September about the AMEC dinner of 23
I have noted that letters were sent out to some of
those you had invited (presumably orally) and some invitations
were sent out by the Vice Chancellor of Sheffield University.
I believe I am right in concluding that none of the letters or
Sheffield University invitations declared your registered interest.
It would be helpful if you could just confirm this
assumption. On that basis, I believe my inquiry is concluded.
I will now focus on preparing the draft memorandum.
I look forward to hearing from you. I am most grateful
for your prompt responses.
16 September 2010
to the Commissioner from Rt Hon Richard Caborn, 20 September 2010
Thank you for your letter 16 September re the dinner
I initiated and organized for industrialists, academics and Ministers
which was sponsored by AMEC at my request.
You are correct in making the assumption that the
invitations to the dinner at the House of Commons on the 23rd
June 2008 by the Vice Chancellor of Sheffield University and myself
did not declare my registered interest.
Once again I hope this clears up the issue you raised
and brings this inquiry to a conclusion.
20 September 2010
590 WE 105 Back
The Register of Members' Financial Interests Back
The Register of Members' Financial Interests Back
WE 118 Back
Not included in the written evidence. Back
Not included in the written evidence. Back
Not included in the written evidence. Back
Not included in the written evidence. Back
WE 114 Back
WE 115 Back
WE 119 Back
WE 117 Back
WE 123 Back
Not included in the written evidence Back
Not included in the written evidence. Back
Not included in the written evidence. Back