Revolving Doors

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There seems to be a seamless progression of public servants and politicians pursuing lucrative second careers…and vice versa.

Some Post-Chilcot revelations: ‘ Jack Straw (former Home Secretary & Foreign Secretary) . . . has worked as a well-paid consultant to a commodities firm ED&f Man’; ‘Geoff Hoon (former Defence Secretary) . . . in May 2011, he secured a highly paid job with the helicopter firm AugustaWestland, which won a big defence contract when Mr Hoon was Defence Secretary’; ‘When he (Sir John Scarlett)  left MI6 in October 2009, he soon picked up highly paid positions with the accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers, the US bank Morgan Stanley, and the security firm Chertoff”. Andy McSmith in the Independent, 7 July 2016, click here.

‘Alistair Darling, the former Labour chancellor of Britain, has been appointed to the board of directors at Morgan Stanley. Darling will take up his role at the financial services firm in January… The news comes a day after it was revealed Gordon Brown had taken on a job at global investment firm Pimco. The ex-Labour leader would advise Pimco on economic and political issues, the firm said.’ The Guardian, 9th December, 2015. ‘ 

“Former health secretary Andrew Lansley was embroiled in a ‘revolving door’ row last night after taking on three more private sector jobs.The Tory peer declared work as an adviser to drugs firm Roche and to controversial private equity firm Blackstone.Blackstone was heavily criticised four years ago when it was blamed for the collapse of a care home firm, throwing the lives of thousands of elderly residents into turmoil.A third role is acting as an adviser to the chair and executive director of UKActive, a body that receives funding from the fitness industry and Coca-Cola.The three jobs were taken by the former health secretary despite David Cameron’s promise in 2010 to end the ‘revolving door’ between government and the private sector.’ Daniel Martin in the Daily Mail, 16th November 2015


“Since leaving office, [John] Sawers has taken up two influential private-sector jobs and followed his predecessors at MI6, Sir John Scarlett and Sir Richard Dearlove, into a network of small, London-based private intelligence and strategic consultancy firms that advise top corporate clients, from sovereign wealth funds to blue-chip companies and foreign governments… Three months after leaving MI6, Sawers became chairman of Macro Advisory Partners, a small consultancy with ties to former UK government figures and one of Barack Obama’s top intelligence advisers. He also joined the board of BP, a move which Lobban has since mirrored by taking on an advisory role to the board of Shell.” Harry Davies in the Guardian, 9th Nov 2015

“Lord Carlile, the former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation who this week mounted a spirited defence of the intelligence services, has received £400,000 from a private consultancy he co-owns with a former head of MI6. SC Strategy Ltd, the company that Carlile established with Sir John Scarlett, who ran MI6 from 2004 to 2009, is described as offering clients strategic advice on UK policy and regulation and has paid out dividends to the pair totalling £800,000 over the past three years, according to accounts filed with Companies House. Harry Davies in the Guardian, 4th Nov 2015

“It is a curious coincidence that Assistant Chief Constable Anton Setchell, head of the entire UK domestic extremism spying operations between 2004 and 2010, is now head of security for engineering firm Laing O’Rourke…”. Dave Smith, the Guardian, 11 Nov 2014

“The former chief executive of BT, who is now a senior Government trade minister, is at the centre of a row over Britain’s alleged role in America’s secret drones’ war.
Ian Livingston was head of the telecoms giant when it won a contract to set up a top secret £15m communications link between an RAF base in Northamptonshire and America’s headquarters for drone attacks in Africa. Last year he was made Lord Livingston and four months ago started a high-profile trade job in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). But it has now emerged the BT cable deal with the US military had formed part of an investigation overseen by what is now Lord Livingston’s own department…” Robert Verkaik in the Guardian, 26  March 2014


Sir Jonathan [Evans] has been appointed to help Britain’s biggest bank to clean up its act after US authorities fined it nearly $2bn (£1.3bn) for acting as a conduit for Mexican drug money and sanctions busting. He will earn £125,000 for serving on HSBC’s Financial System Vulnerabilities Committee as well as joining its board as a non-executive director. The fee for the part-time roles compares to the £159,999 he was paid for his role at the head of Britain’s domestic spy agency in 2010, which was the last time it revealed his salary. Ex-spy boss Sir Jonathan Evans to help HSBC in fight against financial crime

“In an affront to every scrupulous taxpayer, the former head of HMRC waltzes into a consultancy job at Deloitte, the accountancy giant that advises firms such as Starbucks on how to avoid taxes the rest of us pay. So it is that David Hartnett joins the crush of senior civil servants on the gravy train from Whitehall to big business, where they exploit for private gain what they learned in public service.” Public service and a question of integrity 

“At only 47, David Miliband is taking up a £300,000 job, following on from the nearly £1m he has raised since leaving government in 2010. Nor is he alone. James Purnell is going to the BBC for another six-figure salary. Ruth Kelly is now at HSBC. John Hutton went from being energy minister to a seat on the board of a US nuclear giant. And we could go on, with Patricia Hewitt and Alan Milburn … Westminster has become the equivalent of a gap year for middle-aged overachievers, a place to earn a few CV points before catapulting themselves into the private-sector plutocracy. If today’s Treasury minister is tomorrow’s investment bank director, what hope of overhaul of Britain’s rotten finance sector?” David Miliband and the debasement of British politics

Richard Barrett, the former United Nations co-ordinator for the al-Qai’da and Taliban monitoring team…Mr Barrett, who has served with MI5, MI6 and the Foreign Office…Mr Barrett, who is now senior director at the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies (QIASS)… Boston Marathon bombing: The initial theories

England’s former chief medical officer has joined a global lobbying firm advising companies in the private health industry. Sir Liam Donaldson, who retired last year after 12 years in the post, has been recruited by APCO Worldwide as a member of its international advisory council. ‘Revolving door’ leads ex-health chief into job with lobbying firm

Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, appears to found a home from home with his first business appointment as a “senior advisor” to the Monitor Group. Former spy boss Dearlove goes on payroll of the firm with ‘no names’