Job offer withdrawn by Scottish Tory leader due to CV fraud

Craig Paterson was due to take on a key role within the Scottish Conservative Party, until it was revealed that his CV contained falsified information.

False employment history claims

During a period of reorganisation and subsequent recruitment within the office of Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, a candidate called Craig Paterson was recently offered a role as Head of Research.

Claiming an impressive track record of previous employment across other government offices, Paterson was due to start in his new role from the 26th of September. Ross sent an email out to staff, announcing the appointment of Paterson, stating:

“Craig arrives with extensive knowledge of Scottish politics, having once been a key part of Scottish Labour’s operations.”

The Times Scotland reported on the new appointment, citing Paterson’s claims of previous employment as “senior political adviser” to the former Scottish Labour leader and Secretary of State, Jim Murphy.

Upon publication of the article, questions soon arose, as the members of staff from that team struggled to recall working with Paterson. Murphy soon veri-fied these concerns himself, by tweeting the Times article stating:

“This story caught my attention. I have never knowingly met this guy let alone employed him in any role, ever. A bizarre fantasy from the Scottish Tories.”

Following these allegations, a spokesperson from the Scottish Conservatives confirmed:

“We will no longer be hiring this person after new information came to light.”

Blair McDougall, an ex-colleague of Jim Murphy commented on the matter:

“Today I spoke to or texted *everyone* who worked for Jim over the last 25yrs and *nobody* knows this guy – including the staff members who he claims to have worked alongside every day. That Douglas Ross could have been taken in by such an easily verifiable lie is extraordinary.”

A source from the Scottish Conservative party added:

“The web of lies concocted by this man is incredible. He embellished a brief period at Labour into his own fairytale.”

Attempts have been made by reporters to contact Paterson, however he has been una-vailable for comment.

The party are reported to be tasking a team to investigate the matter and to find out what went wrong.

The importance of verifying employment history

Cases such as this, highlight that even candidates for senior roles within political par-ties may not be screened thoroughly enough, to prevent publicly embarrassing recruit-ment decisions being made.

A recent 2022 survey by StaffCircle found that nearly one third of respondents had lied on their CV during a recruitment process, with 63% of those people admitting that they would be inclined to repeat it in the future.

In order to avoid potential reputational damage, or even having to claim back salaries paid to employees who obtained employment fraudulently (as the UK Supreme Court ruled lawful in recent weeks); it is important to verify as much information as possible before a candidate starts in role, so that employers can be confident in their new start-ers, and begin from a place of transparency.

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