Thursday, 7 November 2013

Galloway calls for police inquiry into Lewis land deal

Bradford West MP George Galloway has written to West Yorkshire chief constable Mark Gilmore asking him to ensure that the police inquiry into Kings Science Academy investigates the role of Tory vice-chairman Alan Lewis over the lease of land on which the school stands.

"Lewis' name is all over the initial report of financial irregularities at Kings but has been redacted in the published version," said Galloway. "He was a patron or benefactor of some sort of the academy. His company signed a 20-year deal to lease the land he owns on which the academy is built - at the quite extraordinary sum of £296,000 a year. According to a whistleblower who has come to me and who was involved in this farrago that is many times the going rent in Bradford. And on top of the £6 million in rent Lewis's company will inherit the £10 million building; all of this public money, all of this the very definition of a scandal."

Galloway added: "There is clearly the question of whether there is a conflict of interest here. But what the public needs to know is just who at the school was involved in agreeing this land deal and why a rent way over the odds was signed-off and paid for by the taxpayer. We already know that someone at the school forged and submitted invoices in the name of Lewis' company. The police must include this highly-questionable deal in their investigation, which is why I have written to the chief constable today."