Jowell accused of misleading officials over Iran link

Culture secretary, Tessa Jowell, has been accused of misleading the most senior official in her department over her husband’s Iranian business dealings. Ms Jowell told Dame Sue Street, her permanent secretary, in February last year that her husband David Mills had resigned his position as managing director of a firm that was attempting to sell £115m worth of British Aerospace jets to Iran.

The record of the disclosure that Jowell made to Street states: “Secretary of state’s spouse: resignation from his position as managing director of BDIC (UK) (the firm behind the aircraft deal) with effect from the end of this month.” Street “noted” the disclosure but did not consult the prime minister.

However, there is no record of Jowell telling the permanent secretary that her husband was the legal owner of BDIC (UK). Documents filed at Companies House earlier this year show that at the end of 2005 the firm’s only shareholder was Mayfair Corporate Services, a company wholly owned by Mills.

The disclosure — in documents released under the Freedom of Information Act — will add to the pressure on Sir Gus O’Donnell, the cabinet secretary, to launch a full investigation into Jowell’s compliance with the ministerial code.

Jowell 'misled' officials over Mills Iran link (Sunday Times, 12 March 2006)