Despite the lockdown on business prompted by covid-19, like “Lord” Gavin Barwell, the former Croydon Central Tory MP and author of How To Lose A Marginal Seat.
In less than six months since being elevated to the House of Lords in Theresa May’s resignation honours, “Barren” Barwell, the ex-PM’s former chief of staff, has already managed to accumulate five potentially lucrative directorships and advisory roles.
Barwell lost his Croydon Central seat in 2017, after he had been promoted beyond his abilities to become housing minister.
Now touting his own company, Gavin Barwell Consulting Ltd, his lordship lists being paid as a “strategic adviser” to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Back in January, his former boss, Theresa Mayhem, banked a cool £96,000 from PwC, apparently for 12 hours’ work. Within days, Barwell’s own juicy appointment at PwC came through.
Since when, Barwell’s also been doing work for Avonhurst, which describes itself as political legal advisory firm, while despite criticism in the sector he’s been made a non-exec director of Clarion Group, the UK’s largest housing association, and still finds time to advise building design firm Arcadis as well as Barratt Homes.
Nothing wrong there at all, of course, though any association with “Lord” Barwell might be regarded as unfortunate for those in the housing industry with the man who was housing minister at the time of the Grenfell Tower fire and who managed to ignore seven warnings from a parliamentary group about the dangers of flammable cladding on tower blocks.
Barwell is expected to be summoned to the Grenfell Inquiry once normal service is resumed.
Talking of which, his lordship has suffered a minor inconvenience as he struggles to make ends meet and pay the private school bills. It was announced yesterday that with so many peers working remotely (using the word “working” in its loosest sense, of course), the daily allowance paid for attending the House of Lords is to be halved from £323 per day to a “mere” £162.
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