ANNA MIKHAILOVA: Disgraced ex-BBC boss Tony Hall tries to greenwash away his Martin Bashir stain
Disgraced former BBC boss Tony Hall is greenwashing what’s left of his reputation just months after swerving calls to be stripped of his peerage for presiding over the Martin Bashir Diana documentary scandal.
His production company, I can reveal, was commissioned to produce an official video called Earth To COP to open the recent Glasgow summit.
The company boasted the film was made after an ‘invitation from the UK Government’. Liz Sugg, a former Cameron aide made baroness, was a paid adviser on the video.
Disgraced former BBC boss Tony Hall is greenwashing what’s left of his reputation just months after swerving calls to be stripped of his peerage for presiding over the Martin Bashir Diana documentary scandal
Last night Ian Paisley, one of the MPs who thinks Hall should lose his peerage over the Bashir fallout, called the greenwashing gig ‘shameless’ and another example of how ‘the BBC and its god-like hierarchy are untouchable’.
Baron Hall of Birkenhead hasn’t spoken once in the Lords since January 2013 and only voted twice in the same period.
Earth to Hall: Go now. The climate is changing.
Camilla Cavendish recently gave an impassioned defence of MPs’ extra earnings in her Financial Times column, which conspicuously does not use her full title – Baroness Cavendish of Little Venice.
After leaving journalism for a brief stint in David Cameron’s Downing Street policy unit, Cavendish was awarded a seat in the Lords five years ago. Commenting last week on the latest sleaze scandal to hit the Tories, she said she would ‘rather be represented by someone capable of commanding a high salary outside [Parliament], like Geoffrey Cox’ than presumably someone who spends their time fully focused on the well-paid job they were elected to do.
Little Venice’s curious comment drew me to her own entry in the House of Lords’ Register of Interests, where I can reveal she has been late to declare her own penchant for filthy lucre earned from advising and entertaining the corporate finance world. Her gigs include work for St James’s Place, the financial advisers forced to overhaul widely excessive pay and perks after a string of exposes by Cavendish’s former employer, The Sunday Times.
Little Venice is currently a paid adviser on social care to the Department of Health, while also acting in the same capacity to a venture capital fund specialising in healthcare and speaking at a social care conference organised by a healthcare data firm.
She also raked in fees from a speech to Later Life Lending, a provider of equity-release mortgages, often touted as a solution for people who need to draw money for their spiralling care costs. She declared that eight months after the event.
‘Politics needs talent,’ writes Cavendish. It also needs parliamentarians who can follow basic rules. Seven of Little Venice’s recently added interests were registered months after they took place – which leaves her repeatedly in breach of the Code of Conduct requiring registration within one month.
Is ‘Rambo’ Mercer missing in action?
Real Ministers don’t cry. That’s tough-talking Tory MP and war veteran John ‘Rambo’ Mercer’s view
Real Ministers don’t cry. That’s tough-talking Tory MP and war veteran John ‘Rambo’ Mercer’s view.
‘You are paid a lot of money, get on with the job,’ he opined in response to a recent trend among Cabinet Ministers that has seen Alok ‘no drama’ Sharma fighting back the tears during the COP26 summit and Matt Hancock blubbering on the telly over Covid jabs.
Mercer may have drawn first blood, but the word in the Whips’ Office is the well-paid MP for Plymouth is himself missing in action from Parliament. Rambo hasn’t voted since July. One Minister told me he has been ‘on strike’ since being sacked as Defence Minister earlier this year. Is the war over, Johnny? Apparently not.