Will public reporting of Timpson Ltd’s donations to Edward Timpson MP be consistent this parliament?

  1. On 12 December 2019, Edward Timpson returned as a Conservative MP, winning for the first time the seat of Eddisbury in the north west of England. Previously, he was MP for nearby Crewe and Nantwich, until losing to Labour in the 2017 general election – by just 48 votes. Mr Timpson was a government minister at the time.
  2. The MP is son of Sir John Timpson, the well-known chair of shoe repair and key-cutting business Timpson Ltd. Another of Sir John’s sons, James Timpson, is chief executive. While MP for Crewe and Nantwich, Edward Timpson received at least one donation per year from the family business, according to Electoral Commission records.
  3. On 20 August 2017, I exclusively revealed there’s an unexplained discrepancy of almost £100k between two independent public sources for political donations made by Timpson Ltd to Edward Timpson MP for the eight years 2009-2016. Political donations above £2k must be disclosed by a company in the directors’ report within the annual report. Thus the two independent public sources are Timpson Ltd’s annual reports and the Electoral Commission online database of political donations.
  4. Prior to the 2017 general election, Timpson Ltd didn’t respond to two requests for comment. When I contacted the firm again that year after the election, it then gave a comment. Third time lucky. There Christine Hickman, PA to Sir John, said in an email: “We have made enquiries of the Electoral Commission and are awaiting a response.” (for full quote, see 20 August 2017 post) I thanked Ms Hickman for the email by reply the same day (24 July 2017), adding I’d await her further response.
  5. However, I’d heard nothing at 20 August 2017, the date of the original post.
  6. On 8 November 2019, I emailed Ms Hickman again, requesting comment on two issues.
  7. First, in my reply of 24 July 2017 I said I’d await her further response following Timpson Ltd’s “enquiries of the Electoral Commission”. Yet I received nothing from her. Why?
  8. Second, Electoral Commission records show Edward Timpson MP accepted a donation of £122k from the firm on 5 April 2017. However, Timpson Ltd’s accounts made up to 30 September 2017 don’t disclose any political donations. Why?
  9. Thus Timpson Ltd not only has questions to answer over the public reporting of its donations to Edward Timpson MP during the period 2009-2016 (see 20 August 2017 post). But, as I show here, 2017, too, saw another unexplained discrepancy.
  10. Ms Hickman acknowledged receipt of my latest enquiry. Nevertheless at date of publication I haven’t received a response to the two issues I raised in my email of 8 November 2019.

Yet another ad for “charity” Hillside Animal Sanctuary in the Daily Mail

  1. On 21 December 2019, the Daily Mail published yet another ad for Hillside Animal Sanctuary, a private limited company the newspaper persists in wrongly labelling as a charity. (Daily Mail 21 Dec 2019)
  2. Why, oh why does the Mail continue to mislead its readers this way? (see previous post)

No, Daily Mail – Hillside Animal Sanctuary isn’t a registered charity

  1. On 14 December 2019, the Daily Mail newspaper published an ad for Hillside Animal Sanctuary (HAS). (Daily Mail 14 Dec 2019) There the Norwich-based sanctuary, whose patron is actor Martin Shaw, solicits donations to support its work caring for rescued animals. The ad appeared in a section marked “Charities”.
  2. Yet HAS isn’t a registered charity. There’s no such entity listed at the Charity Commission public register of charities. Rather, it’s a private limited company, Hillside Animal Sanctuary Limited, according to Companies House records.
  3. This inaccuracy by the Mail isn’t a one-off. HAS is a regular advertiser there: the newspaper again placed its ad in the “Charities” section a few weeks earlier, on 9 November 2019, for example. (Daily Mail 9 Nov 2019)
  4. In fact, the Mail has been misleading its readers on “charity” HAS for at least several years, as shown by this ad on 17 November 2016: Daily Mail 17 Nov 2016. Back then I brought the problem to the newspaper’s attention. In its response, Hilary Kingsley said in an email: “We accept that it was not strictly accurate to place the advertisement for the Hillside Animal Sanctuary under the banner heading of ‘charities’.”
  5. Three years later, the Mail continues to mislead its readers this way. Why?

Private Eye reports Jim Davidson and Care after Combat exposé

  1. The current issue of Private Eye (1511) reports my Jim Davidson and Care after Combat exposé (see previous post).
  2. Private Eye is the UK’s number one best-selling news and current affairs magazine.
  3. You won’t find the report – or much else from the magazine – on the Eye website because the online presence is minimal. Here’s a scanned copy of the page from my subscription copy – see article headed “Charity News”: Private Eye 1511.