Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Revealed: how minister cashed in on contacts

The Sunday Times
November 23, 2008
Insight: Jon Ungoed-Thomas, Jonathan Calvert, Andy Rowell and Georgia Warren

The former transport minister Stephen Ladyman has been using his parliamentary office to lobby officials for contracts for a private company.

Documents obtained under freedom of information laws show that the Labour MP touted for the business on behalf of ITIS Holdings, a transport company that pays him £1,000 a month.

Ladyman used his House of Commons address and e-mail when requesting meetings with officials on behalf of ITIS, which is chaired by a former Labour donor.

One of the letters, seeking Olympic work from London’s transport commissioner, begins: “You may remember me from my time as minister of state for transport.”

He also sent an e-mail to an official at the Highways Agency saying he was not permitted to lobby because it was less than a year since he had left the government. Despite this, the e-mail urges the agency to do business with ITIS.

Ladyman is one of about 25 former Labour ministers who have accepted jobs in the private sector since 2006, but he is the first to admit using his ministerial contacts to arrange meetings in Whitehall for clients.
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