It seems that Kent County Councillor, Richard Long, is living a political double life.
The Conservative Councillor for Kent Malling Rural East and solicitor lists a number of directorships in his register of interests but they aren't the interesting ones. The interesting ones are the undeclared Company Secretary positions (which presumably means they aren't paid posts) which include:
- English Voice Magazine Limited (the English Democrats' magazine)
- Confederation of English Business Limited (apparently unsuccessful alternative to the CBI)
- English Lobby (touts for discrimination cases for Tilbrook to litigate)
- East of England Regional Executive Limited (possible "spoiler" company)
- English Constitutional Convention (defunct joint venture between the CEP and EDP)
What makes these companies interesting? They're all front companies for the English Democrats - a rival (albeit impotent and largely irrelevant) political party to his own Conservative Party. Talking of the English Democrats, he holds one more English Democrats-related post:
- The English Democrats
Now, it's not unusual for a solicitor to be a company secretary but usually it's because a small company wants the professional veneer of a proper office and a respectable professional on what passes for a board. The English Democrats already have a solicitor as a director - their chairman, Robin Tilbrook - and Cllr Long's office is his house. So how does a Conservative Councillor not only end up as company secretary of a rival political party and five of its front organisations but also having their registered offices at his house? And if the posts aren't declared in the members' interests they're presumably unpaid which makes it all the more strange. If it's not a professional arrangement then it must be a personal one. Just what links does Cllr Long have with the party that spawned the Steve Uncles libel factory? Or is it the other way round? How deep are the ties between the English Democrats and the anti-English Conservative Party?