Esther McVey has attacked me on Twitter after I uncovered that her identity has been used fraudulently. I was carrying out research for an article for Evolve Politics related to MPs financial interests. This involved cross checking the Register of Members Financial Interests and details on Companies House. I was doing this to see if any MPs hadn’t declared a business.#
To my surprise when I searched; “Esther McVey,” it listed her as the company secretary for a suspect looking company called “THE LOYAL SCOTS COMPANY.” After cross checking all the details such as; full name, date of birth and registered address it became clear that it was the same details and the Work and Pensions Secretary. I mean unless there’s another Esther Louise McVey who uses the constituency of…. Esther Louise McVey MP for Tatton.
The company is listed on Companies House under IT Consultancy, but after researching them in detail it became clear this is not true. There most recent return includes the director valuing the company at £20 million. Although this is a self evaluation and in real terms means nothing.
The company’s Social Media accounts show that it is dedicated to ensuring that Scotland remains part of the UK. It also advertises that you can buy a share for £1 to help “preserve the union.” As a Private Limited company it is illegal to seek investment in this manner.
Given how unusual this was, I tweeted about it as it didn’t show on the Register of Member Financial Interests.
💥💥@EstherMcVey1 is there a reason you have NOT declared you're the Company Secretary of: LOYAL SCOTS COMPANY, on the Members Financial Interest Register?
The address you've listed is the Tatton @Conservatives Club so it's definitely you.
28 days to declare ended in April… pic.twitter.com/n3P59QDW2F
— Alex Tiffin (@RespectIsVital) November 3, 2018
It’s important to note the time of the tweet was 3:41AM, you’ll see why later. Anyway, I carried on my research which I will report on in another article later.
At 8:46AM I sent an email to Ms McVey’s parliamentary email address asking for comment on my findings giving a deadline of Monday 6PM before I wrote about it fully.
By this point the tweet was garnering A LOT of attention. My editor at Evolve decided that due to the nature of the information, it was in the public interest to report the case. So he wrote an article using my research, and published it.
If we’re honest it did get read a fair amount of views but it didn’t go viral or anything close to that. So, when a tweet from the Work and Pensions Secretary appeared the next day hitting out at me personally, I was surprised to say the least.
The pits in journalism -not checking the facts
I have no knowledge or connection to this company but they appear to have used my name. I have now contacted Companies House.
— Esther McVey (@EstherMcVey1) November 3, 2018
I mean Esther McVey is criticized and attacked daily and she never EVER responds to anyone, especially on social media. So why this time?
She intentionally named dropped me two tweets in a row without tagging me, as I had given her the the courtesy of. However, it appears she’s guilty herself of “not checking the facts.”
Had she done so, she would have noticed that I didn’t write the article and the time of my original tweet was nearly five hours before I contacted her. Facts aren’t really Esther McVey’s strong point though are they? After all, she was caught “misleading” parliament about Universal Credit earlier this year.
Some facts don’t stack up
When I became aware of her tweet I issued a response explaining the situation as I have above but not surprisingly, I didn’t get a response. I did get abusive messages calling me all sorts of things but that’s to be expected in this day and age.
McVey probably wasn’t getting the response she expected. Nearly every comment was against her with many noting that she should be thankful I uncovered this serious case of identity and company fraud. BUT, there are somethings that don’t necessarily add up with her denial.
Again I will say that she denies any knowledge of the company in question. My problem is this;
As she is listed as the company secretary of The Loyal Scots Company Ltd, she will have received confirmation from Companies House that she had been appointed secretary in March 2018. She will also have received paperwork regarding filings and deadlines at her constituency office.
This being the case, why hadn’t she, or a member of her staff picked up on this? It shows a very poor standard of administration in her office if that’s the case. Most people, (let’s say all), don’t ignore letters and correspondence from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). An Member of Parliament you’d think would be ultra vigilant.
I tried to report the Fraud
Since Ms McVey stated that this was done without her knowledge, I did the correct thing and reported the fraud to the authorities. Even going as far to obtain the National Crime Reference Number and post it online for her to see.
However, I got a response to my tweet from ActionFraud, (the National Fraud and Cyber Crime reporting agency), which took me off guard.
Hi Alex, you can report on behalf of a victim but you must have their permission to do so. ^EC
— Action Fraud (@actionfrauduk) November 5, 2018
They told me that I need the victims permission to report the crime. They’re telling me that I uncover that a member of the UK Government has had their identity fraudulently used and they won’t look into it?
That’s ridiculous, not to mention it contradicts their own website. Yes, there is an option to “report on a victim’s behalf” with their permission. There’s also the option to do so as a “witness” to fraud, this is the option I chose.
I have contacted Esther McVey for her consent and further comment as surely she’d want this looked into by the experts and the perpetrator brought to justice. No response has been received at the time of this article being published.
Should more develop in this case I will keep you updated.
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