Sunday, March 02, 2008

Scottish Tories draft in an ex-MI6 spy as Chairman with dodgy CV

When the going gets tough, and the tories turn desperate ? an ex spy is brought in as Chairman .. although problems with his 'professorship' do seem to be taking centre stage in the headlines recently ..

The Herald reports :

New top Tory in row over CV

Former spy 'not entitled to call himself a professor'
By Paul Hutcheon

THE NEW chairman of the Scottish Tories has become embroiled in a row over his CV after false claims were made about his academic credentials.

Andrew Fulton, a former MI6 spy who was appointed by the Conservatives on Friday, was hailed as a "visiting professor" at Glasgow University's school of law.

But a spokesman for the university rebutted the claims, saying: "Mr Fulton is not associated with the University of Glasgow's law school and is not entitled to call himself a professor." Fulton, 64, took up the post as the Scottish Tories' top official last week and received endorsements from Conservative leaders David Cameron and Annabel Goldie.

The biography supplied to the media claimed he had read law at Glasgow University and was "now visiting professor at his alma mater's school of law".

But Fulton, who was a government diplomat for 30 years, was only briefly a visiting professor at the university between 1999 and 2000. He worked in the university's law school at the Lockerbie Trial Briefing Unit until he was dropped from his post when he was unmasked as an ex-spook.

Visiting professors lose their title after leaving a university, but the academic status symbol has somehow followed Fulton in his business career.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: "The formal appointment at Glasgow University was for four years, but in 2000 the visiting professorship dwindled around the time of the Lockerbie stuff. The use of him as an active visiting professor diminished." Fulton did not call himself "Professor", he added."It's not something he himself uses." However, on the website of Proudfoot Consulting, a firm which lists him as an adviser, Fulton's biography refers to him as a "visiting professor at his alma mater's school of law". He is also referred to as "Professor Andrew Fulton" on the website of edoMidas, a company that has him as its non-executive chairman, and as "Prof RA Fulton" on the site of the Scottish North American Business Council, which he chairs.

An SNP spokesman said: "Being economical with the truth as a double agent may have been good training for Mr Fulton to become Scottish Tory chairman.

However, it's embarrassing that his cover should have been blown within five minutes of taking up the post. The Tories will be shaken and stirred to learn they can't trust Mr Fulton." In 2000, a Sunday Herald investigation revealed Fulton, the former MI6 station head in Washington, was appointed a visiting professor to the law school to give impartial advice to the world's media during the Lockerbie trial in The Hague. Fulton was suspected of infiltrating the unit to deflect criticism away from Western intelligence over the bombing of PanAm 103 in 1988.

On Friday, Fulton was praised by David Cameron, who said he would give experience and stature to the Scottish Conservatives in the build-up to a general election. He said: "I know Andrew will make a huge contribution to preparing our party for that challenge. I am delighted he has accepted the invitation to be chairman of the party in Scotland." Annabel Goldie MSP, the Scottish Conservative leader, added: "Scottish politics is at a pivotal stage and the appointment of Andrew as our chairman in Scotland demonstrates what a serious player the Scottish Conservatives are. Andrew is a substantial and respected figure and I look forward immensely to working with him in our continuing and exciting progress.

Fulton himself said: "We need to emphasise to people that voting Conservative is equally important in Scotland as in the rest of the UK. When I was growing up the Conservative presence in Scotland was strong. I see no reason why we cannot aspire to building towards that again.

Fallow decades are over, says new Scots Tory chairman


A former MI6 spy appointed as Scottish Tory chairman yesterday insisted the party could recover from two decades of "fallow" results at the next General Election.

Andrew Fulton, who has spent more than 30 years in senior positions in the secret service, claimed the Conservatives had an opportunity to catch the SNP on the hop at Westminster and exploit the current disarray of Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

After his appointment was announced yesterday, he said: "It's very exciting to be taking over. We are within two years, at the most, of a UK General Election. Annabel Goldie has made an excellent start in the Scottish Parliament and she has done that issue by issue, making the Conservatives once again count in Scotland. Looking on to the UK level, I'm a great believer in David Cameron's message, I think he's got a great story to tell.

"After 20 years of fallow results, I hope with the SNP not concentrating on Westminster, Labour in disarray and the LibDems struggling a bit, we have a great opportunity to increase the number of Conservative MPs."

His post has been dogged by controversy and cross-border tension for the past year since David Mundell, Scotland's only Tory MP, lambasted the abilities of the previous incumbent, Peter Duncan, in an internal party memo. The appointment of the chairman is ultimately sanctioned by the UK leader, but Mr Fulton said this had been with the "consent and approval" of the executive of the Scottish Conservatives.

The former agent, who was born in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, also brings his own baggage to the post: his unmasking as an MI6 operative led to him stepping down in 2000 as an adviser to Glasgow University's briefing unit which advised the media about the Lockerbie bombing trial amid speculation - which he strongly denied - that he had a competing agenda.

Last year he became the first acknowledged former spy to join a listed British company when he was appointed as an adviser to the Armor Group, which provides security services to national governments.

No comments: