Decemberb 6, 2009: Baroness Scotland ‘Never Considered Resigning Over Illegally Employed Housekeeper’

Baroness Scotland 'never considered resigning over illegally employed housekeeper'

Baroness Scotland never considered resigning as Attorney General amid the row over her illegally employed Tongan housekeeper, she disclosed during an appearance on Radio 4s Desert Island Discs.
Published: 6:25PM GMT 06 Dec 2009

Lady Scotland was fined 5,000 for failing to keep photocopies of documents she claims she was shown by Loloahi Tapui, who was charged with fraud and immigration offences.

In her first major broadcast interview since the affair came to light, Lady Scotland told interviewer Kirsty Young she was very, very sorry for the distress she caused to her family and accepted she had breached the rules.

But asked if she ever thought about jacking it in as political opponents called for her resignation, she responded simply: No.

Lady Scotland said: It was a very difficult time and I clearly accepted that I should have taken a photocopy of the passport. I didn't.

That was wrong. I was fined. I accepted it. The thing I was really worried about was the impact it had on my family.

My family have been amazing and I am very grateful to them and I am very, very sorry that an oversight on my part, a genuine mistake, has caused them a great deal of distress.

The law was targeted at employers and I have paid the penalty for that. If anything, it demonstrated that nobody at all is above the law.

Asked what lessons she had drawn from the events, she replied: I learnt that I need to be an awful lot better at managing my administration.

In a wide-ranging interview, Lady Scotland recalled her childhood on the Caribbean island of Dominica and her experiences of racist bullying after her policeman father moved the family to the east London suburb of Walthamstow in the late 1950s.

She revealed that, before entering the law, she considered alternative careers as either a ballet dancer or a nun.


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