Andrea Leadsom, the Conservative MP who could soon be the UK’s next Prime Minster, exaggerated her previous finance job responsibilities according to a former City co-worker.
Robert Stephens, a retired financial services professional who worked in international fund management, told the politics blog Reaction that Leadsom’s description of her experience running financial teams could mislead people “into believing that she has finance management skills and experience which qualify her for senior posts in government.”
He said that, at his prompting, Leadsom has already changed her job description on her Wikipedia entry “from the obviously incorrect Chief Investment Officer to the titles of Senior Investment Officer and Head of Corporate Governance.”
Stephens was a fellow employee with Leadsom while she worked at Invesco Perpetual during 1999-2009, as an investment services manager. He says that Leadsom’s actual job there was to negotiate pay terms for senior fund managers and that “she had no-one reporting to her in either role, so the words Senior and Head are, one might say, superfluous.”
Leadsom’s background has come under intense scrutiny since her leadership bid, especially has her experience in the financial sector is such a big part of her campaign. The Times reports today that Companies House documents show that another one of her previous jobs was as a marketing director for her brother-in-law’s investment fund — even though she had previously claimed to be its managing director.
Leadsom’s spokesman defended the MP, telling the Times that “anyone who reads Andrea’s CV and attaches a lot of weight to that particular role may actually be under some slight misapprehension as to what it was she actually did.”
No one picked up the phone in Leadsom’s office when Business Insider called for comment.
Despite the scrutiny, Leadsom’s leadership campaign is doing well. She won the backing of 66 of Conservative MPs on a leadership vote on Tuesday, coming from nowhere just a few days before. Theresa May is still the strong favourite with 165 MP votes, but if Leadsom makes it into the final two then her popularity among pro-Brexit party members could tip it in her favour.
The next Tory leader vote is scheduled for Thursday, with Stephen Crabb and Liam Fox already out and Michael Gove in third place.