- The director of a fake company was a signatory in its name to last year’s open letter to the Daily Telegraph from more than 5 000 small business owners backing the Conservatives before the general election. The letter, which the newspaper put on its front page 27 April 2015, was orchestrated by Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) and promoted by Karren Brady, the TV star and a Tory peer. Meanwhile, the fake company claims the backing of prime minister David Cameron.
- Abbey King Khawaja is signatory 671 to the Telegraph’s letter: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/11565080/The-5000-small-business-owners-supporting-David-Cameron-and-the-Conservatives.html. He signs as director of British Eco Power Ltd of London (screen shot in Figure 1). Yet there’s no company of that name registered at Companies House.
- The British Eco Power website is elaborate and detailed: www.britishecopower.com. No registered company number, though. The website creates the impression British Eco Power operates across the world, working with international partners. But the partners page, including the right-hand “newsroom” section, is unchanged between 10 December 2012 (web.archive.org/web/20121210121915/http://britishecopower.com/partners.html) and 4 April 2016 (web.archive.org/web/20160404050000/http://britishecopower.com/partners.html). The exact two dates are arbitrary, just when snapshots of the page were saved in the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
- Mr Khawaja used to be a director of the firm Britsh [sic] Eco Power Ltd, whose name appears to be deliberately misspelled without the second “i” (registered company number: 08421038). He resigned as a director 6 October 2015. I can’t find a website for what’s a non-trading company, according to Companies House records. It has filed two sets of accounts there, both as a dormant company. In July 2015, Britsh [sic] Eco Power was nearly struck off the public register. Not a good sign.
- Back to the fake company. Mr Khawaja is politically well-connected, according to his biography on the British Eco Power website: “Abbey has supported the present Conservative Government as well as the Conservative Arab Network in London and has good relations with all leading UK parliamentarians, ambassadors and diplomatic community leaders in London.” (screen shot in Figure 2). Quite a boast. But the alleged political connections don’t end there. British Eco Power claims the backing of prime minister David Cameron (screen shot in Figure 3).
- I repeatedly rang the landline phone number – “for all worldwide enquiries” – on the British Eco Power website (screen shot in Figure 4) as I have a few questions. Yet there’s only a recorded message: “This is a digital mail dmClub phone number. It is currently unused and available for sale. For more information, please call 0870 446 0870. That’s 0870 446 0870.”
- I asked Mr Khawaja in an email to his personal address if he’d care to comment on the fact that his company British Eco Power Ltd isn’t registered at Companies House. In his same-day reply he wanted to know the reason for the enquiry. I said it’s illegal for a company to claim to be a limited company if the company isn’t registered at Companies House as a limited company. He wrote in his answer: “Britsh [sic] Eco Power Limited is legally registered in the UK”. That’s the company whose name appears to be deliberately misspelled without the second “i”. I then pointed out in another email that these are two different companies – but with confusingly similar names. I finished by asking: “Or have I misunderstood?” At date of publication I haven’t received an answer.
- This is the first time to my knowledge that an unambiguously fake company has been found on the Telegraph’s letter of support for the Conservatives from more than 5 000 supposed small business owners. Within hours of publication, dissolved companies and duplicate names had been identified: www.mirror.co.uk/news/ampp3d/truth-those-5000-small-businesses-5592693. Someone – Karren Brady? – should tell Number 10 that British Eco Power claims the backing of the prime minister.