Remember this picture? Its a screen grab of a Joe Anderson website which shows that he took money from Carillion two years after condemning them!!
Regular readers of this blog will have seen this picture before. It’s a screen shot of the fundraising event that Mayor Anderson held to raise money for his 2016 Mayoral campaign. We criticised him for taking money from Redrow…. Then we remembered he had also taken money from Carillion!!
Three weeks ago in the Council I listened to Mayor Anderson lambasting Carillion. I have also listened to Jeremy Corbyn also having a go at the Company and PFI. I pointed out in Council that the biggest users of PFI were the Blair/Brown Governments. They have used it more than all other Government’s Combined.
Mayor Anderson regularly lambasts us for Parklands School, a school built under PFI which Labour supported in Liverpool but is now empty. He never mentions that the PFI deal for what was Speke Comp was forced on us by the Labour Government and that because of the careful financial controls of the Lib Dems Liverpool has less PFI schools than any other core city.
Then a little bird in Labour’s ranks reminded me of Labour’s fund-raising event in 2015 to raise money from Joe Anderson’s election in 2016. We had concentrated on the unhealthy relationship between the Labour Parry and Redrow was there was clearly, in our opinion, a disgraceful situation whereby a major partner of the Council had given money to the controlling Party on the Council. We were reminded that one of the other silver sponsors of the event was Carillion!
Our rules are very clear:
- We don’t take donations to the Party from any business that does business with the Council. We believe that our sole purpose in being a councillor is to represent the people of Liverpool. Taking large wads of dosh from companies can distort that position.
- We only take £250 as a maximum donation from anyone who is not a member of the Party. We do not want to be beholden to anyone. If local residents want to put in a tenner or so because they value our services that’s great. That is the community supporting people who really feel that we are THEIR local representatives.
Labour, at least in Liverpool, seem to take a different position. 4 big national and local businesses coughed up for the re-election of Joe Anderson. What do they get for that? Who knows? Who asked them to make the donation? Who knows. What we do know is that it is total hypocrisy to condemn a company when you hand has been held out to get them to donate to you.
Of course, in 2015 no-one knew that Carillion were going broke. But we did know:
- that they were not putting enough money into their pension fund
- that they were using unusual accounting practices
- were putting the credit squeeze on small companies
- Used blacklists of Labour to keep ‘troublemakers’ off their books
Then yesterday I was sent along with Labour and Green Councillors a motion that had been passed last week by Wavertree Constituency Labour Party. I was surprised but pleased to get this. Surprised because Parties do not normally share such things; pleased because surely on a subject like Carillion we could act on an all-Party basis.
This is the Wavertree Labour motion which Lib Dems are supporting:
Collapse of Carillion and blacklisting
This CLP notes Liverpool City Council’s ill-fated relationship with two of the most prolific Consulting Association blacklisters – namely Carillion and Laing O’Rourke, which has been brought into even sharper focus by the recent collapse of Carillion.
The CLP shares the Blacklist Support Group’s dismay that these rogue contractors have been securing public contracts within our city, thereby rendering the Cabinet’s motion, passed in 2013, meaningless.
It also contravenes the ethos of the document referred to as the ‘Workers Charter’
The CLP therefore resolves to remind the Council that blacklisting was and still is an unacceptable practice, which cannot be condoned. We therefore urge that those companies who were members of the clandestine organisation, the Consulting Association, and any others found to be engaging in blacklisting, be removed forthwith from the approved list for future construction work procured by the Council.
Since these discredited contractors have continued to be awarded work in the city, this CLP calls for a working group to be set up, comprising two elected members of the Blacklist Support Group and the appropriate cabinet council members, to monitor this process of disengagement.
Mayor Anderson responded to this motion with a furious denial. Interestingly he forgot to mention that two years after moving in Council a motion on this subject, which again Lib Dems supported, he took what we can only describe as ‘blood money’ from an organisation he had publicly condemned.
I have yet to have a response from Jeremy Corbyn. We have yet to see what Labour Councillors will do with the Wavertree Labour party motion. But rest assured that the Lib Dems will work with the members of the Labour Party who find what happened in Carillion and other black-listing companies unacceptable to try and ensure that the stain of their history is removed from our City.
Here is my letter to Jeremy Corbyn. If he replies I will print his reply as an addition to this blog and will let you know that it is available:
28th January 2018
Dear Mr Corbyn,
Re: Carillion and the Mayor of Liverpool
I have listened with interest to both you and your Shadow Chancellor talking about problems with Carillion and PFI. You may be surprised to know that I agree with much of your analysis.
I also listened with interest to your Leader in Liverpool Mayor Anderson making similar points on Wednesday at a Council meeting. He pointed out how difficult a firm Carillion has been and how it and its constituent parts had often blacklisted workers.
It was a surprise to me therefore to be reminded yesterday that Mr Anderson took money from Carillion to fund his 2016 re-election campaign as Mayor of Liverpool. He held a glittering fund-raising event in 2015 of which we were already aware. We knew about it because one of the silver sponsors was Redrow Homes a Company with which the Council has a strategic partnership. We do not approve of political parties taking money from sponsors when their own council has a trading relationship with them. We regard it as being unethical. I wonder if you share that view?
We now discover that Carillion was also a silver sponsor of the fundraising event. Silver sponsorship cost £7,500. Given what we know about Carillion and its ways I believe that the Labour Party should pay this money back to Carillion in order that it might play a small part in assisting the small and medium enterprises who are facing bankruptcy and the thousands of workers who have either already been made redundant or face an uncertain future.
I would be grateful if you would let me know if you agree with me and join me in putting pressure on Mayor Anderson to repay what I can only regard as ‘blood money’.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Cllr Richard Kemp CBE,
Liverpool Liberal Democrats