Remember Iain Duncan Smith?
It may seem like forever since he resigned as Work and Pensions secretary but in fact it was only March. I mention him because Michael Crick reported in 2002 that aspects of his curriculum vitae were demonstrably false.
As This Blog put it:
“It seems he didn’t go to the Universita di Perugia in Italy, founded by the Pope in 1308, but to the Universita per Stranieri (University for Foreigners) which was founded in 1921 and did not grant degrees when he studied there in 1973. IDS did not get any qualifications there or even finish his exams.
“He wasn’t educated at Dunchurch College of Management either. This was the former staff college for GEC Marconi, for whom he worked in the 1980s. IDS completed six separate courses lasting a few days each, adding up to about a month in total. He quite clearly was not there for a sustained period of time and never earned a recognised qualification there.”
Now it seems Owen Smith has been caught lying on his CV as well.
It’s fun to speculate that perhaps working on the Work and Pensions brief in Parliament encourages these MPs to falsify their life stories – perhaps in an effort to encourage jobseekers to do the same? But in this case we must also ask a far harder question:
Do we really want a(nother) liar for a Labour Party leader?
After The Guardian reported that Owen Smith was never a board member of one of the world’s biggest biotech companies, Amgen, the Labour leadership hopeful scrambled to change an item on his CV which had stated the opposite:
“a director and member of the UK and Ireland board of Amgen”
Smith did indeed work at Amgen, but as the American firm itself told The Guardian:
“Owen Smith’s position at Amgen did not give him any involvement or influence on the topics raised here – he was an employee in the UK for 18 months and was not an officer of the company or board member.”
Smith’s team responded by insisting that ‘board member’ did accurately reflect his work at the US giant:
“[Smith] was on the most senior director level in the UK, but they are only allowed to have one – in company terms – board and that is the USA, but it is a shorthand for what he did there.”
But within a few hours of the revelation being made public, Smith had changed the item on his website:
“a director and member of the UK and Ireland team of Amgen.”
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