Was Colin Breed MP’s constituency office in South East Cornwall used by Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate Karen Gillard to run a business from?

6 May

Was Colin Breed MP’s constituency office in South East Cornwall used by Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate Karen Gillard to run a business from? Has the Liberal Democrat Party investigated this by examining the parliamentary telephone line records?

In a copy of a letter seen by this Blog, a former employee of South East Cornwall Liberal Democrat PPC Karen Gillard gives an account of witnessing breaches of parliamentary protocol in particular using an MPs constituency office and parliamentary telephone lines for commercial purposes

To The English Candidate’s Chair of the Liberal Democrat Party

12 December 2009

Dear Ms. Jarvis,

I worked for Karen Gillard from 24/03/09 to 06/05/09 and left her employ because of her conduct. On 19/06/09 I contacted the regional party chair to discuss my concerns about Miss Gillard’s conduct. I also made enquiries to the candidate’s office on 02/07/09.

The circumstances of my complaint are as follows:

Miss Gillard invited me to work for her under the auspices of a political internship with the Liberal Democrat Party.

The majority of the work I did for Karen Gillard from 24/03/09 to 06/05/09 was in Colin Breed MP’s constituency office in Liskeard.

Miss Gillard used a Member of Parliament’s constituency office for her commercial telephone canvassing business.

The majority of my work for Karen Gillard was not political but was instead commercial, for her telephone canvassing business.

Parliamentary telephone lines were used for commercial telephone canvassing.

Parliamentary telephone lines were used to canvass for party political purposes in the run up to the local elections.

Work on commercial telephone canvassing was prioritized over constituency political canvassing on Miss Gillard’s instruction.

There are further matters that have come to my attention that I suggest should be considered by the party at a senior level:

Miss Gillard informed me that she was under investigation for ‘missing money’.

Miss Gillard informed me that she was planning the sale of the party’s asset ‘Millbrook Hall’ to fund her own campaign and showed me various papers to that effect.

Miss Gillard showed me an EARS Data CDROM that was the property of the City of Plymouth Party.

Miss Gillard frequently used obscene language in the constituency office and in public.

On informing Miss Gillard of my reasons for wanting to leave; in particular that I had learned that she ‘was being investigated for financial irregularities’ she threatened to sue me for libel if I repeated that statement to anyone else.

On 28/08/09 I was informed by the Plymouth party chair that Miss Gillard had ‘emptied’ the Plymouth Party’s bank accounts. [see enclosed emails from Mr Steve Barton.]

I would be prepared to attest to the truth of this statement in a court of law. I have no conflict in that I do not covet Miss Gillard’s prospective constituency. Copies of relevant documents in evidence are enclosed. I would be grateful for your considered inquiry and advice in due course.

Yours Faithfully,

Confirmation of receipt of complaint

Thank you for your email. As requested I have forwarded this to Sal Jarvis. Please
note that the Candidates’ Office is closed until the new year due to long-term
illness. I shall be working from home so can respond to emails but shall not be in
the office to pick up the mail and forward this to Sal. This will be dealt with in
the new year,

Kind Regards


Maddy Pite
Candidates’ Office Assistant
maddypite@libdems.org.uk <mailto:maddypite@libdems.org.uk>
0207 340 4993

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