Probing Siôn Simon’s CV

Labour’s West Midlands mayoral candidate and former MP Siôn Simon has published his “CV” on his latest campaign leaflet. We asked his campaign to clarify his CV points…

Siôn’s “CV”

  • A self-employed small business person for over a decade – I know the pressure of the looming VAT return
  • Government Minister with overall responsibility for an £11 billion organisation
  • Senior manager in a global corporation

Simon claims to have been a “self-employed small business person for over a decade“. Simon tells Guido this refers to his work as a freelance journalist and consultant, which would indeed count as “self-employed“. Whether this really qualifies as a “small business” is a matter of interpretation. When you think “small business” you tend to think of a small firm…

Simon was a government minister. In 2008 he was a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills under Gordon Brown. Before leaving parliament in 2010 he also served as a minister at the same rank in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. PUSS’s are the most junior ministerial rank in the government structure. A junior minister cannot have “overall responsibility” for the budget of a government department. Simon says this referred to the Learning and Skills Council, for which he did oversee departmental sponsorship. The Learning and Skills Council had its own Chief Executive to manage its £11 billion budget…

Simon claims to have been a “senior manager in a global corporation”. He was employed by Diageo in the company’s Guinness division in his early 20s prior to entering journalism and politics. For two years…

A campaign spokesperson told Guido:

“Siôn was a writer and management consultant. Siôn was the sponsoring minister of the Learning and Skills Council. Siôn was a Senior Manager at Guinness PLC, then a FTSE top 20 company, exporting to almost every country in the world.”

His CV at all points stretches the truth, yet for some reason he neglects to mention studying PPE at Oxford, the subject chosen because he always wanted to be a politician. In reality Siôn has been a career politician for 3 decades who has risen on the coat-tails of his pal, Tom Watson…

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