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Barrister Keith Gordon has lodged a formal complaint against HM Treasury with the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

The basis of his complaint is that the former Economic Secretary to the Treasury misled Parliament when she told it that “trade associations and the accountancy and legal professions” had requested that the rule in Sharkey v.Wernher be legislated for. In fact, this was untrue, no request had ever been made by any organisation trade or otherwise, and the professional bodies were actually against the measures.

Keith would like the EST to be given the opportunity to correct her statement, but he is also concerned about a cover up.

He pieced together the facts using the Freedom of Information Act, however, the Treasury ignored his first request. At last (and out of time) the Treasury made the disclosure but it then failed to include it in its list of published disclosures. A change in the reporting criteria then appears to have been made, whether by coincidence or not, this ensured that Keith’s request would not be featured.

His first letter of complaint to the Treasury in February 2009 was ignored, and it was not until Keith contacted the Ombudsman that a response was received, in February 2010. The Treasury is still unable to explain if the EST made a genuine mistake or whether she was in fact briefed to tell Parliament what she did.

Keith says, “Parliamentarians, taxpayers and voters deserve to be told that the Committee was misled.  I would now like to be told why.”