LKP trustees today told the permanent secretary of the MHCLG that former chair Martin Boyd can return to the organisation whenever he likes.
The invitation was made clear to officials along with a complete rejection of their inquiry into the disastrous meeting between LKP and Sir Peter Bottomley with Wanda Goldwag, the chair of the Leasehold Advisory Service, on April 25 2019.
The following letter was send to MHCLG today:
January 11 2021
FAO Jeremy Pocklington, permanent secretary MHCLG
Sir Peter Bottomley, Leasehold APPG chair and LKP patron
Justin Madders MP, ditto
Sir Ed Davey MP, ditto
Lord Greenhalgh, MHCLG housing minister
Bob Bessell, chair, LKP
Katie Kendrick, LKP trustee
Dean Buckner, LKP trustee
Joanne Darbyshire, LKP trustee
Cath Williams, LKP trustee
Re Martin Boyd treatment by MHCLG
Dear Mr Pocklington,
I write to inform you, on the instruction of the chair of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership Bob Bessell and the trustees, that they have decided to invite Martin Boyd to resume his position at the charity.
The trustees do so fully aware of the ruling of the Parliamentary Ombudsman last November, which took more than a year to look into this matter.
The department only made available its “notes” titled Formal Complaint about LEASE chair on November 25 2020. These are attached.
It is clear that it questioned Wanda Goldwag about this meeting, and unaccountably did not contact any of the other participants, who were: Sir Peter Bottomley, his senior parliamentary advisor Katherine O’Riordan, Sebastian O’Kelly, CEO of the charity, and Joanne Darbyshire, co-founder of the National Leasehold Campaign and an LKP trustee.
We note that the official who investigated this matter at MHCLG concluded:
“Having considered all the available evidence I strongly believe to be accurate WG’s claims that negative LKP tweets have caused distress to LEASE staff.”
We also see that the notes state that Ms Goldwag denied accusing Martin Boyd of “targeting individual members of LEASE”.
Nonetheless, LEASE staff “cried in meetings because of the criticism they have received”; counselling services were introduced and “Individual staff members had mentioned MB personally”.
Yet the only evidence for this are the published and accountable tweets by Martin Boyd.
Meanwhile, LKP has been contacted by staff at LEASE complaining of a bullying culture at the organisation, and referencing the premature departure of senior staff. This matter has been raised with the department by Sunday Times journalist Martina Lees.
Having considered the MHCLG’s partial and one-sided account of this disgraceful matter, the trustees of LKP are unpersuaded that a sincere effort was made to address it.
Our former chair has been unfairly smeared and ranks have closed to perpetuate this smear.
The trustees unanimously agree that Mr Boyd be invited to return to his post with immediate effect.
Sebastian O’Kelly CEO, Leasehold Knowledge Partnership