Tory MP hits out at 'totally bogus' questions over Andrea Leadsom's City career

Posted On: 
6th July 2016

Claims that Andrea Leadsom has exaggerated her experience in financial services are “totally bogus”, one of her supporters said this morning.

Andrea Leadsom launches her Conservative leadership bid
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Ms Leadsom and her supporters have emphasised her 25-year career at various banks and City institutions before she entered Parliament.

One of her backers, Bernard Jenkin, has said she was responsible at one point for “for managing hundreds of people and billions of pounds”.

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But her time in the City has come under scrutiny after an article appeared on the Reaction site from former colleague Robert Stephens questioning her credentials.

That was followed up by a report in The Times today that she had worked as marketing director of a hedge fund, rather than as its managing director, as she had previously claimed.

Mr Stephens, who worked with Ms Leadsom at investment firm Invesco, said claims about her career “risk misleading people into believing that she has finance management skills and experience which qualify her for senior posts in government”.

He argues that her job at Barclays in the 90s was “largely administrative”, while at Invesco she was involved in working on ‘special projects” on behalf of the company’s Chief Investment Officer.

While her CV lists her job titles at Invesco as ‘Senior Investment Officer’ and ‘Head of Corporate Governance’, Mr Stephens says neither role involved anyone reporting to Ms Leadsom, “so the words Senior and Head are, one might say, superfluous”.

A spokesman for Ms Leadsom rejected the claims in Mr Stephens’ article, saying: “Her CV, which we will be publishing in the morning, comprehensively disproves the letter’s assertions.”

Tory MP Penny Mordaunt, who is supporting the Energy minister’s bid to become Conservative leader, claimed this morning that there was a deliberate attempt to undermine Ms Leadsom.

“This is a totally bogus article that she was not given the right to reply to and, in case your listeners haven’t seen it, there’s a concerted effort to try and rubbish Andrea’s stellar career in financial services and business,” she told the Today programme.

“This is a concerted effort to rubbish a stellar career and imply that she was just making the tea.”