Back in September Michael Fallon hired defence lobbyist Bill Clare to spin for him as his special adviser. The right-winger worked for Michael Howard before joining Liam Fox’s abortive bid for the Tory leadership, ending up on the side of the angels at arms manufacturers General Dynamics, eventually going on to spin for the London First group. A job that he appears to have kept for longer than he strictly should…
An email has emerged that shows Clare’s old lobbying organisation claiming to have kept the newbie SpAd on their roster while he worked at the Ministry of Defence:
From: Gavin Hayes
Sent: 02 October 2014 15:25
Subject: Bill Clare
This it to let you all know that as of Monday 22 September Bill has started an exciting new role working as an adviser to Michael Fallen MP the Defence Secretary at the MOD.
Bill will continue to provide advice and support for the Let Britain Fly campaign over the next couple of weeks by phone and email but will no longer be coming into the office.
I would like to personally thank Bill for all his fantastic work on the Let Britain Fly campaign over the last year and for all the support he has given us.
We wish Bill all the very best of luck and success in his new job.
Campaign Director, Aviation
At a time when the MoD were bombing ISIS, why was Clare apparently combining SpAd-ing with being a business lobbyist? Curiously, London First also “work with government and police organisations in helping their respective cyber units”.
Cyber Units like the one recently set up by the Ministry of Defence.
Guido does wonder if this unusual arrangement was cleared with the MoD permanent secretary and the Cabinet Office, and whether the conflict of interest was declared?
UPDATE: Statement from Bill Clare:
My last working day for Let Britain Fly was Monday 22nd September – as they have now confirmed – at which point I closed down my company in accordance with my agreement with the Cabinet Office. I began work with the MOD on Thursday 25th September. The email you’ve been “leaked” is not accurate – so your story isn’t either – a point I understand Let Britain Fly has been in touch to make and to confirm the dates above.
Guido has received no such communication from Let Britain Fly…