Ruth Turner (political advisor)

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For the American marine biologist, see Ruth Turner.

Ruth Turner (born 1970 in Dublin,[1] Republic of Ireland as Caitriona Ruth Turner), was formerly Director of Government Relations within Tony Blair's Downing Street office.[2]

Biography[edit]

As daughter of leading Catholic writer and academic Denys Turner,[1] Turner spent her childhood moving between university towns as her father's career gathered pace. Most of her childhood was in Bristol.[1] Turner left home in the late 1980s to study at the University of Salford, graduating with a BA in English & History in 1991 and followed by a sabbatical year as the Students Union's Deputy President for Communications, elected as the Labour Students candidate.

Big Issue in the North[edit]

Turner came to prominence as co-founder and former chairperson of the Big Issue in the North, which she started in 1992, before leaving in 2000. Turner subsequently co-founded with Simon Danczuk Urban Visions Limited, trading as Vision Twentyone, a research, public affairs and communications consultancy.[3][4] In 2004, Ruth formed another social business, Commotion, with her brother Brendan Turner.[1]

Labour Party[edit]

Rising through the Labour Party's ranks, she stood as a Labour candidate for the European Parliament elections in North-West England constituency in 1999,[1] before becoming a member of its National Executive Committee in 2000. In 2005 she was placed in the key post of Head of Government Relations by Tony Blair, replacing Lady Morgan of Huyton, the Prime Minister's long-time adviser, who first recommended her. She worked directly for Tony Blair's chief of staff Jonathan Powell.

Tony Blair Faith Foundation[edit]

She has since followed Tony Blair on his exit from Downing Street, and is currently employed by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation on, according to the Daily Telegraph, a six figure salary.[5] She served as the Foundation's Chief Executive from 2007 until April 2013 when she become its Director of Policy.[6]

Controversy[edit]

Main article: Cash for Peerages

In September 2006, it was reported that Turner had been interviewed under police caution[7] under Scotland Yard's ongoing cash for peerages inquiry.[8][9] It was revealed in November 2006 that she had been questioned by the police four times [10] as part of the on-going inquiry.

In July 2006 it had been reported that she was at the centre of another political corruption probe.[11] Her ex-partner Matt Finnegan, had been suspended from his job as Head of Media Relations at Liverpool City Council in April 2005 after awarding work to Turner's former company, the Big Issue in the North in 2002 - two years after she had left the company. Turner released a statement through 10 Downing Street in response to the report, where she commented: "There is no truth in this. I left the Big Issue in the North in May 2000. I understand this work was awarded by Liverpool City Council to the Big Issue in the North in July 2002. I have no knowledge of, nor was I involved in, any aspect of this."

On 19 January 2007 she was arrested at her home in the early hours of the morning in relation to the cash for peerages inquiry on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. Later that day she was released on police bail.[12] [13] The CPS later dropped all charges against her and the others involved.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Mother speaks out about Ruth Turner's 'harrowing' ordeal". Daily Mail. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street website
  3. ^ Deborah Linton (12 July 2011). "Rochdale MP's firm owes taxman 110k after going bust". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Vision 21 team". Vision 21. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  5. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7229874/Tony-Blairs-faith-charity-pays-six-figure-salaries-to-top-officials.html Robert Mendick The Telegraph Tony Blair's faith charity pays six figure salaries to top officials 13 Feb 2010
  6. ^ http://tonyblairfaithfoundation.org/religion-geopolitics/contributors/ruth-turner Tony Blair Faith Foundation: Ruth Turner (Accessed July 30 2014)
  7. ^ McLaren, Elsa (2006-11-16). "Police uncover 'significant' material in cash-for-honours probe". Article on www.timesonline.co.uk (London). Retrieved December 1, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Number 10 aide is quizzed over cash for peerages". Article on Guardian Unlimited (London). 29 September 2006. Retrieved December 1, 2006. 
  9. ^ "Donor police quiz top Blair aide". Article on news.bbc.co.uk. 2006-09-29. Retrieved December 1, 2006. 
  10. ^ Temko, Ned (2006-11-19). "Brown's aide learnt about loans last year". Article on www.timesonline.co.uk (London). Retrieved December 1, 2006. 
  11. ^ "Blair aide in another corruption probe". Article on www.dailymail.co.uk (London). 15 July 2006. Retrieved December 1, 2006. 
  12. ^ Ruth Turner arrested?, the-daily.org, 19 January 2007
  13. ^ Honours police arrest Blair aide, bbc.co.uk, 19 January 2007

External links[edit]