The wife of Lord Birt, the former Downing Street policy guru, looks set to land a massive contract to develop Labour’s controversial ID-card scheme.
As No 10’s “blue skies thinker”, Lord Birt – who was criticised as a “croak-voiced Dalek” when he ran the BBC – advised on Government IT programmes and drew up a major report on criminal justice which analysed the effect ofidentity cards.
Now The Mail on Sunday can reveal that his second wife Eithne Wallis, a senior executive at a Japanese computer giant, is poised to cash in on the policy he helped to develop.
Ms Wallis, who married Lord Birt last year, is the director of government contracts at Fujitsu Services, which was last month shortlisted for the £2billion contracts to operate the ID-card scheme.
Last night the Conservatives expressed “concern” at the way the company could be benefiting from insider knowledge.
Ms Wallis, 54, met 62-year-old Lord Birt, a former BBC Director General, three years ago on a Whitehall committee when she was head of the National Probation Service.
Lord Birt went on to leave Jane, his first wife of 41 years, and to marry his mistress, prompting a major family rift. None of the children from their first marriages attended the low-key civil wedding ceremony.
Ms Wallis, who was born in Northern Ireland, quit the civil service to join Fujitsu in February 2005 on a six-figure salary as a “senior member of the business transformation group”.
She was promoted in July that year to her present post of managing director of government business and began positioning the company as a leading supporter of Labour’s unpopular ID-card programme.
Fujitsu funded a Government report which showed how to overcome concerns from ethnic minorities that the scheme could lead to racial and religious discrimination.
Then, last year, Fujitsu paid for a debate on ID cards at the Institute for Public Policy Research, New Labour’s favourite think-tank.
Until December 2005, Lord Birt was occupying a Whitehall office drawing up secret reports for Tony Blair on issues ranging from criminal justice to Government information technology.
According to reports, he regularly used to “chew the cud” with the Prime Minister on ID cards.
As head of the BBC, Lord Birt was dismissed by writer Dennis Potter as a “croak-voiced Dalek” for stifling creativity and was lampooned by Private Eye in the column “Birtspeak”.
No actually, it is not Lord Birt who is chewing the cud, but the British people, the human cattle, who are going to be chewing the cud, and being herded like the bovine / human sub species they have become.
This is the corruption that we know about. There are, 1000% guaranteed more cases like this where ‘a friend of a friend of someone in the department’ has landed one of these criminal contracts.
It is nauseating, infuriating and BAD.