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Probation Chief Resigns Over Conflict Of Interest Row

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The chief inspector of probation, Paul McDowell, has resigned over a conflict of interest row after his wife’s private justice company won the largest number of contracts to run probation services in England and Wales.

McDowell, who was appointed by the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, said he was resigning from the £135,000 watchdog role because although there were “measures in place to manage any conflicts of interest” it was clearly seen as a conflict of interest.

“It is imperative that any inspectorate is independent and seen to be so,” he said. “Although we have measures in place to manage any conflicts of interest, and I would always carry out my duties without fear or favour, it is clear that a perception of conflict around my post remains. It is therefore right that I resign.”

Grayling said he had considered “all of the potential mechanisms and systems that could be introduced and used to manage any actual or perceived conflict of interest. However Mr McDowell has decided that, in the circumstances, he will resign.”


The resignation follows the disclosure by the Guardian that McDowell’s wife, Janine, was managing director of Sodexo justice services, which was named as preferred bidder to supervise tens of thousands of offenders in six of the 21 probation areas in England and Wales. Sodexo took over the contracts on Sunday in partnership with Nacro, the crime reduction charity, of which McDowell was the former chief executive.


The shadow justice secretary, Sadiq Khan, and the justice select committee questioned McDowell’s position after the Guardian disclosure and the failure of Grayling to disclose the potential conflict of interest at the time of his appointment in November.

Unbelievable! Why would you not declare the potential conflict of interest?

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Gravy trains. Job done. You missed the best bit:

“...shocking that McDowell’s departure has been delayed until the day after private companies take over the running of probation...announcement came the day after contracts to managing probation services involving the supervision of 200,000 ‘medium- to low-risk’ offenders were handed over to 21 community rehabilitation companies...

Edited by northshore

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Sorry, guys - but Ayn Rand -- more true now than ever.

​when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors- when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice- you may know that your society is doomed.

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In other news I see Francis Maude is stepping down as MP for Horsham at the tender age of 67


As Financial Secretary of the Treasury in the first Major government he was one of the architects of Next Steps in the early 1990s which was the template for the wonderful world of public sector/private sector back scratching we live in today.

He will be sorely missed but not by me.

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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  • 406 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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