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‘Tackling Corruption – Is Whistleblowing the first line of defence?

At Protect event, ‘Tackling Corruption – Is Whistleblowing the first line of defence? held in partnership with law firm Leigh Day (February 24), delegates heard the vital role whistleblowing plays in business.

Protect Chief Executive, Liz Gardiner, chairing the event, said, “Given the vital service whistleblowers provide in holding organisations and governments to account the question is this: why are so many ignored and retaliated against?  Why do so many have to resort to the press to have their concerns taken seriously? What can we do to get employers, regulators, law enforcement agencies and the government to see whistleblowers as an asset in the fight against corruption?

On the panel:

Conservative MP for Weston-super-Mare, John Penrose, a former minister and the Govt’s independent anti corruption champion since 2017 – a role in which he both supports and challenges the Govt action on corruption.   He also chairs the Conservative Policy Forum. 

Dame Margaret Hodge, is  the Labour MP for Barking, former Minister and former Chair of Public Accounts Committee, and currently chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Anti Corruption and responsible taxation. 

Leigh Day partner Paul Dowling, a specialist international human rights lawyer and partner at Leigh Day.  Paul successfully represented Amjad Rihan, a former partner of Ernst & Young, who blew the whistle on money laundering and conflict minerals concerns in the United Arab Emirates.  Amjad was eventually awarded over £8m in damages, and his case broke new ground in whistleblowing protection. 

Protect Head of Policy, Andrew Pepper-Parsons and whistleblower Jonathan Taylor.

Protect believes whistleblowers can provide a vital function in detecting and preventing corruption. Transparency International UK have reported this month that over 2000 companies registered in the UK have been linked with 48 money laundering and corruption cases involving Russia.  

Delegates heard how the Government’s Anti Corruption Strategy which calls for “A more open government that is trusted by citizens, with robust protections for whistleblowers” and review of the whistleblowing framework is ‘off-track’.

Jonathan Taylor gave a moving account of his ongoing whistleblowing saga, which has destroyed his marriage, career, and described how regulators left him high and dry, and unsupported. He said any reform of whistleblowing legislation, needed to pass the ‘Taylor Test.’ Protect will continue to campaign and work with Jonathan, law makers and MPs and interested NGOs to reform the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. #LetsFixUKWhistleblowingLaw

Watch the event

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