Tory lord faces new probe as Cayman’s UK frontman

| 31/03/2014

(CNS): The Conservative member of the House of Lords and former minister and chief whip is facing more controversy in the UK over his job with the Cayman Islands Government (CIG) and the possible conflict it causes with his position as a British life peer. Lord Blencathra, aka David McLean, a former MP for the Scottish constituency of Penrith, is attracting more bad publicity for the islands as he will be the subject of yet another investigation by the Lords’ authorities questioning his contract. Despite changes in regulations that now ban those in the House of Lords from lobbying politicians, McLean is still on the CIG payroll and government has made no comment about his future.

CNS contacted the premier and the financial services minister, both of whom were in the UK last week and we have been informed that the premier is planning on making a statement. However, questions about the Tory Lord's role and future with the CIG have remained unanswered.

The latest issue surrounding the Lord is as a result of Blencathra’s original contract being published in the British media recently. The contract was originally released to CNS following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request and has been in the public domain for some time.

Following a previous probe into Blencathra’s role as director of the Cayman Islands’ London office as a result of questions raised by Labour member Paul Flynn, the Tory Lord was cleared of wrongdoing, though it led the committee to block the potential loophole that allowed lobbying government though not parliament. Kernaghan has now questioned whether Blencathra was actually lobbying parliament anyway and as a result the Tory Lord has once again asked the House of Lords StandardsCommittee to examine his conduct since taking the job with CIG.

Whether or not the Tory peer was lobbying just government and not parliamentarians in the past is now less relevant to CIG, which is paying him a considerable sum (approximately CI$14,000) per month from the public purse to lobby on Cayman’s behalf. With the change in the rules, Blencathra will not be able to lobby ministers, government or MPs bringing into question his value for money.

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  1. Henry 111 says:

    $600k per annum and you have retires who are barely surviving. We really have money to waste?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why not just axe the contract?  Guess he has a termination clause in it so he would be paid for the full contract if it was terminated early.  Hear about easy money.  He must be laughing at us bunch of idiots.

    • Anonymous says:

      You must mean "read" the contract. You can't axe a question to something that can't even speak.

  3. Anonymous says:

    That amount would go very far with fixing the deplorable condition of some of the schools plus the much needed special needs services for the children.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The man is always carrying a shepherd’s staff. Our politicians must be like his little lambs.

    I know we have $600,000,000 to blow through but do we have to throw so much of it away for so little benefit?