Political editor WALTER CRONXITE on the latest little sideline of one of Croydon’s leading Tories
Coulsdon Conservative councillor Mario Creatura, who has a job at No10 Downing Street as a Special Adviser to Prime Minister Theresa Mayhem, may have broken the Civil Service code after he agreed to speak at a private event for a corporate lobbyist and their wealthy clients.
The oleaginous Creatura used to work as bag carrier to gaffe-prone Gavin Barwell when he was an MP.
When Barwell was rejected by the electors of Croydon Central at the 2017 General Election, he was appointed as chief of staff at No10. Barwell then quickly set about creating a Croydon clique in Downing Street, recruiting a number of his old mates to well-paid Civil Service jobs, including Creatura, who washed up in Whitehall on a SPAD’s generous salary of up to £70,000, basically for looking after the PM’s Twitter feed.
Now the Red Roar website has obtained evidence that shows Creatura lined up as a speaker for a private event organised by lobbyist FleishmanHillard Fishburn this Wednesday.
“The invitation promises to teach attendees how to ‘reach politicians and impact policy’,” the website reports.
According to Red Roar, “FleishmanHillard Fishburn’s UK clients include private health firm Nutricia and the Carlyle Group, an investment firm that boasts of having $201billion in assets. In addition to its UK operation, FleishmanHillard Fishburn conducts work in the Russian Federation and has employed a general manager in Saudi Arabia.”
Creatura is known locally for his over-weaning political ambition and the high regard in which he holds… himself. Although he receives £18,000 per year in allowances as a councillor for Coulsdon Town ward (on top of his government salary), Creatura no longer bothers to leave his Croydon town centre bachelor pad to stage monthly surgeries for the residents he is supposed to represent.
Croydon Conservatives suggest that Barwell’s gobby factotum may yet emerge as the Tory candidate in his old boss’s parliamentary seat of Croydon Central, or get picked to run for the London Assembly in 2020, when Steve O’Connell stands down.
But Creatura’s eagerness for advancement also sees him make questionable judgements, and his agreeing to speak at this lobbyist event could be one such example.
SPADs are basically party political appointments who are paid for by tax-payers. As a public employee, Creatura is governed by the Civil Service Code and Whitehall’s strict rules on Special Advisers’ conduct.
“DO NOT use your knowledge about what is going on inside Government to impress your contacts in the lobbyist world” is one piece of advice for SPADs which might have been written with arrogant Creatura in mind.
Another states: “DO NOT use yours position to help a lobbyist get a benefit to which he or she is not entitled”, which sort of covers this week’s event.
As Red Roar states, “The binding Civil Service Code also warns civil servants not to ‘misuse your official position, for example by using information acquired in the course of your official duties to further your private duties or those of others’.”
And this all in the week of the Chancellor’s Budget, too.
It seems hard, if not impossible, for Creatura to reconcile his appearance at the event and to continue to hold his position as Head of Tweets in Downing Street.
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