Reynolds Porter enters fray for Tory leader on ‘Betsygate’

Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith has drafted in Reynolds Porter Chamberlain partner David Hooper, the lawyer who acted for John Major in relation to the Edwina Currie affair, to advise on ‘Betsygate’.
Duncan Smith has already made clear that he would take legal action against the BBC, which first broke the story surrounding his wife Betsy’s employment as a secretary in his office, and other news organisations which have since published the allegations.
However, all proceedings have been put on hold until the result of the inquiry by parliamentary standards commissioner Sir Philip Mawer.
“The likelihood is that there will be some legal proceedings, but we must let the commissioner do his job first,” Hooper said.
Hooper is a longstanding adviser to the Conservative party and brought the client to Reynolds Porter when he joined from Pinsents in July. He advised John Major on a dispute with the New Statesman in relation to the Edwina Currie affair.
Vanessa Gearson, a senior Tory aide who initially raised concerns about the employment of Duncan Smith’s wife, is being advised in relation to the matter by Healey’s consultant Gill Sage.
Sage has previously advised Gearson in relation to another matter earlier in 2003, and was instructed on this matter last Friday.
Gearson has today handed over information to Mawer in relation to the inquiry, which is expected to be concluded within a couple of weeks.
At this stage it is not thought that any other external lawyers are involved.