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The Duncan donut
China blacklist , Issue 1544
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BADGE OF HONOUR: Iain Duncan Smith, now blacklisted by the Chinese regime
SIR Iain Duncan Smith MP calls it a “badge of honour” to be sanctioned by the Chinese regime over his campaign to stop trade deals because of the persecution of Uyghur Muslims. UK companies who trade with China are “feeding this dreadful and intolerant government”, he insists. He should perhaps tell that to two businesses that currently employ him.

Since January, IDS has been advising Byotrol on “product and company development”, earning £25,000 a year for 12 hours' work a month. His links with the firm go back further, including a brief stint as a director (and shareholder) before becoming work and pensions secretary in 2010. Besides developing anti-bacterial treatments for businesses and consumers, Byotrol has a line of “pet grooming and hygiene” goods that were first sold in China under the Carexpro brand in 2013.

By 2017, the firm was reporting “strong growth”, its products were stocked in 2,500 Chinese stores and it was looking forward to further expansion, “particularly in mainland China”. At its AGM last November, it said that although China had been “low focus” in 2020, it looked forward to normal business resuming in 2021.

'Crucial market'
IDS's other regular outside earner is a seat on the international advisory board of Tunstall Health Group Ltd, which pays him £20,000 for “up to 30 hours a year”. Since IDS joined in 2018, Tunstall has “expanded its footprint in the lucrative Chinese market” (its own words) via a partnership with property development giant Sino Fortune, installing software and apps that enable Sino Fortune to “remotely monitor its residents' vital signs and health conditions” in their homes. Nothing sinister there!

“It's great to see we are starting to make in-roads in such a crucial market,” a senior Tunstall executive raved at the launch of a joint project in Tianjin two years ago. The next meeting of its international advisory board should be fun, now that one of its own members has been blacklisted by the state it regards as “such a crucial market”.

More top stories in the latest issue:

THAT'S RICH…
Harry Rich, registrar of consultant lobbyists, is quick to exonerate ex-PR man David Cameron over his lobbying on behalf of collapsed bank Greensill Capital.

LOADED REVOLVERS
The indulgence of troubled financier Lex Grensill's now defunct bank is a case study in the dangers of the revolving door between government and business

POST WASTE
Trashing its own reputation and mistreating sub-postmasters in the long running Horizon IT scandal has so far cost the Post Office a quarter of a billion pounds.

VETTING PROCESS
The shortage of official vets to stop disease entering the food chain is now so acute the government has abandoned the requirement they speak good English.

GREED ALL ABOUT IT…
The Oxford AZ vaccine was created with public funding, so the PM was talking rot when he said vaccine success was due to capitalism and Big Pharma's greed.

PRIVATE MATTERS
The government has still not published full details of the eye-watering contracts it has signed with private hospitals to help out during Covid and beyond.

BARRIER METHODS
The government's Disability Unit brushes aside detailed criticism that it has breached the equality and human rights of disabled people during the pandemic.

PAY SLIPPERY
G4S staff at NHS testing stations discover they in fact work for new companies which have yet to file accounts and whose directors are based in the Philippines.

HOLYROOD HICCUPS
Whatever success Nicola Sturgeon claims for Scotland's vaccine roll-out, the part run by her government is far from hiccup-free.

DELOITTE DELIGHT
The government's favourite Covid consultancy has done so well, profits for the last full year are expected to be £580m – £80m more than expected.

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Private Eye Issue 1544
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