Last week’s story
about how MPS have been making Parliament’s exclusive banqueting facilities available to outside bodies with which they have financial links mentioned how Patricia Hewitt, the former Health Secretary, sponsored a dinner in February 2009 for BT where she holds a well paid position as a non-executive director.
We’ve been following PH carefully recently as Private Eye
(DP's favourite mag - get a subscription) have been covering her lucrative second incomes. What none of last week's stories mentioned is that she is employed not only by BT, but also Boots and private equity firm Cinven. According to her parliamentary register of interests, this takes up 53 hours of her time a month – and that’s without counting (according to Private Eye) a so far unnoticed new position as adviser to Barclays Capital, the investment banking arm of Barclays known for its multi-billion pound tax avoidance business.
Hewitt was Lord Mandy’s predecessor in what was then the DTI and while there passed something called the enterprise act, which removed any public interest test from the process of approving mergers beyond whether competition would be affected. This eased the way for the £11bn takeover of Boots by US private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. About a year later Hewitt scored the job of ‘special consultant’ at Boots for £50,000 a year.
Patricia is the new face of Boot's new PH Not-so-Neutral skin cream. See before and after pics below.