The charity at the heart of the Downing Street bullying row was criticised over the way it operated as long ago as 2007, the Western Mail can reveal.
The National Bullying Helpline’s revelation yesterday that members of Downing Street staff had contacted the organisation with concerns helped fuel the increasingly bitter political row over Gordon Brown’s personal conduct.
Last night, senior Welsh lawyer Elin Pinnell said she had been invited to an event run by the charity in 2007, but found it appeared to focus on drumming up business for a consultancy run by the husband of the founder, Christine Pratt.
Mrs Pratt said last night The Law Society had approved the arrangement.
The decision by Mrs Pratt to go public sparked protests from other anti- bullying campaigners who said she had breached her duty of confidentiality.
In an extraordinary day at Westminster:
The head of the Civil Service was forced to deny suggestions made in a new book – The End of the Party by journalist Andrew Rawnsley – that he had taken Mr Brown aside to warn him over his explosive behaviour;
The head of the civil service union claimed politicians had “little idea about what is acceptable in a modern workplace”;
Lord Mandelson and the Conservatives became embroiled in a war of words over Mrs Pratt;
Four patrons of the charity resigned in protest; and
In an interview with The Economist magazine, Mr Brown said: “The Cabinet Secretary has made it clear that he’s had no inquiries, there’s been no reprimand, there’s been no private message to me... (The) story is completely wrong.”
Published by Western Mail 23.02.2010