Cayman’s UK peer brought into question

| 09/12/2011

_51613246_-7.jpg(CNS): The appointment of the British Conservative peer Lord Blencathra to the Cayman Islands London office in order to lobby on behalf of the financial services sector has been called into question in the UK’s House of Commons. According to records in the UK, opposition Labour MP Maria Eagle has queried how a serving Conservative peer could have been appointed as the representative for the Cayman Islands to oppose further regulation of what she called offshore tax havens when there was an urgent need for tough regulations of such jurisdictions.  She also noted that in opposition the UK Prime Minister had raised concerns about the “potential scandal” relating to lobbyists.

Last month the labour MP asked the government front bench to reveal its position on serving Conservative lords lobbying against the regulation in light of David Cameron’s promise to regulate lobbying and create a register of lobbying interests.

On behalf of the government, George Young revealed that the coalition was committed to introducing the register and consultation was due to begin shortly but made no comment on the appointment of the former Tory chief whip, David MacLean, as director of Cayman’s London office. He was appointed to the House of Lords earlier this year after he chose not to fight to retain his seat in the 2010 election as a result of worsening health.

During the MPs expenses scandal it was revealed that Maclean spent more than £20,000 improving his farmhouse under the Additional Costs Allowance (ACA) scheme before selling it for £750,000.

He claimed the money by designating the property as his “second home” with the Commons authorities, yet Maclean did not pay capital gains tax on the sale because the taxman accepted it was his main home. MacLean was one of 98 MPs who voted to keep their expense details secret. In 2007 he introduced a private members bill to exempted MPs from the UK’s Freedom of Information Act.

McLean was appointed to serve as the Cayman’s UK representative last month by Cayman Premier McKeeva Bush, who said it was vital that Cayman has astrong voice in Westminster and McLean would ensure the islands’ interests were protected at a time when Cayman was the subject of “malicious and ill-informed attacks”.

The Tory peer said at the time that a major part of his job would be to persuade Britain and Europe that allowing the Cayman Islands to maintain its leading position in world finance was vital to the vCity and the UK economy.

Category: Politics

Comments (19)

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  1. cow itch says:

    song just reaapear in my thick  head, "you better watch out, youbetter not cry, you better not judge, I'm telling you why, Santa Claus is comin to town!"…. and then when i was taking a shower, "Santa baby…."… and then when washing down there, "chestnuts open on an open fire…."…. i am so confuse this i tell ya its not nice

  2. Anonymous says:

    This in another example of bad decision making, on the part of Mac. At a time when we should be positioning the London office to become a key element in Cayman's future we have stocked it with useless individuals.

    What is needed is to draw form the stock of  well informed, educated and professional Caymanians from our Finanical Services industry. We have a great number of competent persons, who have a credibile background to promote and defend the industry. Instead we have a "lordship" who is questionable amoung his own ranks, that has brought in his "crew" and will most likely turn the office into his "family" employment solution. Mac has continued to NOT advertise any of these UK employment positions or seek input from any of the locally competent Caymanians.  

    His cousin now the office deputy, sat in the now closed London Investment Office for 4 yrs and accomplished nothing; now he has been set up as the token Caymanian deputy in London. He is nice fella, but his only contribution before he left Cayman over 20 years ago to live abroad was playing football. With no meaningful work experince or job history on his resume since leaving Cayman. This is far from impressive in a world of London social/business acceptabilty. A painful pill to shallow but you must look and be able to play the part to make any impact in London !

    It is so telling that whilst Mac would be the first to bad mouth on "family" benefits for anyone else, he is the first to do so in what should be a perfect position to promote all things Caymanian. With a bright, accomplished and competent Caymanian. 

    Instead we have a over the hill Lord, and a poor example of Caymanian financial services competence sitting next to the Ritz in London demonstrating that we have no idea how to put our best talents forward. Instead only to install a "court of clowns"

    These jobs should be adveritised and public interviews conduction with a representative panel of our people making the employment decision. Instead we have such a notable case of family patriotism. Which would be ok if the end result is success, but in this example all will happen is more of our money spent to give an unemployable "cousin" a job with no result or benefit to our Island's future.

     

  3. Knot S Smart says:

    I for one am glad that Superman is on our side…

  4. St Matthew says:

    Not all who says lord lord shall be favoured by the United Kingdom!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mork calling Orsin…..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Birds of a feather I guess.  Mac and MacLean both using public funds to fix up their homes. 

    When will the carnival stop?????

    • Anonymous says:

      The Carnival will stop when we kick the Monster/Big mouth out.  When are we going to overthrough him?  Post the date.

  7. Libertarian says:

    Don't get distracted!  People need to understand that whether an offshore financial centre like ours gets regulated or not for tax invasion and irregularities, it does not guarantee food on our tables. Rather, it is the war of the roses!  One group of elites to deregulate, fighting against another group of elites to regulate!  We are caught in between… NOW LETS GET BACK TO THE BUSINESS AT HOME!!! 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Are you sure that's not Robin Williams in drag?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Let's see – the Cayman Islands have been pushed around in London for years and the London office hasn't carried any weight.

     

    Now we have a top Tory politician, and a former powerful Chief Whip to boot, who will stop all the nonsense we have been getting from the patronising bullies at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

     

    So why is this not a smart appointment?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Google "Maria Eagle and MPs expenses"

     

    Let's have some balance in this article please

    • Anonymous says:

      It matters not what Maria Eagle has done.  What matters is that our reputation is in tatters thanks to "The Firm" and every single Hollywood show that brings up money transfers, the Cayman Islands is where is mentioned.  "Burn Notice" recently did something as well.  We need to appoint someone with a clean  character to represent us.  Someone who is known for transperency.  We need someone to help our image not bring it down.

      If I say to someone that I'm from the Cayman Islands and it has happened, the first thing they said to me was about hiding money.  

  11. Anonymous says:

    Maria Eagle: bathroom renovated on expenses before flat was 'flipped'

    Maria Eagle, a junior minister, claimed thousands of pounds in expenses on refurbishing a bathroom at one of her flats just months before switching her designated second home to another property with a higher mortgage.

     

    Until 2006, the junior minister at the Equalities Office and the Ministry of Justice had designated as her second home a flat in her constituency of Liverpool Garston, which she has owned since 1997.

    In December 2005 Miss Eagle was paid £3,500 in MPs' expenses towards the cost of refurbishing the bathroom in the property in the Mossley Hill area of the city.

    Fitting a new bathroom suite, thermo shower, wall and slate floor tiles and removing a wall cost Miss Eagle £7,140, but before she submitted her bill she approached the fees office, which informed her that under the rules she was not allowed to claim the full amount as some of the work constituted an improvement to the property.

    She also claimed up to £240 under the Additional Costs Allowance system for the monthly cost of the interest on her mortgage.

    Four months later she changed her second home designation to a flat in Camberwell, which she bought in 1999. After the change, her claim for mortgage interest payments increased to £739.22 a month.

     

  12. Anonymous says:

    Mac says "where's the conflict?"

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thank God someone (even if it's a Labour MP with the usual left wing agenda) has challenged this idiotic appointment.

    • Anonymous says:

      What an idiotic comment.  Your supporting a liberal MP that wants to shut down Cayman wth ill conieved regulation????

      • Anonymous says:

        My boss told me that everything is about perception so if we appoint a crook (not saying the person is a crook) to represent us and we are saying that we are transparent,…well, you know the saying, "Birds of a feather, flock together." 

    • anonymous says:

      Major conflict. Questionable financial prctices, likes to keep secrets.  Our money and our reputation at risk.