Leadsom Denies Exaggerating Experience in U.K. Leadership Bid

  • Tory lawmaker plans to publish her CV to disprove allegations
  • Former Invesco colleague says Leadsom is ‘misleading people’

Andrea Leadsom, one of three Conservative Party lawmakers left seeking to become the U.K.’s next prime minister, will publish her resume in an attempt to disprove reports that she exaggerated her banking experience to bolster her leadership credentials.

“It is both surprising and disappointing that The Times based a significant part of a Leading Article on a single, uncorroborated, letter without giving Mrs Leadsom the opportunity to respond to the allegations made in that letter,” a spokesman for the lawmaker said in an e-mailed statement. Her resume “comprehensively disproves” the allegations, the spokesman said.

Andrea Leadsom on July 6.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

In a commentary on Wednesday calling for Tory lawmakers to back Justice Secretary Michael Gove for the party leadership, The Times newspaper said, “Mrs Leadsom makes much of her experience in the City but her credentials as a senior banker have been politely but firmly undermined by Robert Stephens, a former colleague of hers at Perpetual/Invesco.”

Leadsom, who entered parliament in 2010, came second in the first round of voting among Conservative Party lawmakers on Tuesday with 66 votes, ahead of Gove with 48 and behind Home Secretary Theresa May with 165. The next round of voting is on Thursday, with two remaining candidates put to a vote by party members unless rivals drop out sooner.

“She allowed people to credentialise her as being someone who made her way to the top of the City, when that was not an accurate presentation of her time at Invesco Perpetual,” Stephens said by phone on Wednesday, confirming a blog he wrote on the Reaction website a day earlier. “There is no remote possibility of her having had responsibility for managing money.”

Stephens said he worked with Leadsom at Perpetual/Invesco Perpetual from 1999-2009 and that no one reported to her in her roles at the company. Stephens retired from the financial services industry in 2014, he said.

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