DNA firm calls in Luther over Blunkett scandal

DNA Bioscience – the company embroiled in the scandal that prompted David Blunkett’s resignation – has called in Luther Pendragon to promote it as a successful and ethical institution.

The DNA testing firm has faced a raft of charges in the media over recent weeks.

Reports have included allegations of ineligibility for Whitehall contracts and suggestions that the company's ownership is questionable. Controversial businessman Tariq Siddiqi – the man who introduced Blunkett to estate agent Sally Anderson, and whose wife Lucy was a DNA Bioscience director – is reported to own 75 per cent of the company's shares.

Luther Pendragon founding partner Charles Stewart-Smith, who heads the account with consultant Rachel Hedley, claimed the reports were 'completely false'. He insisted Tariq Siddiqi had no shares in the company, adding: 'We will put this false perception right.' He also revealed that Lucy Siddiqi had resigned.

DNA Bioscience contacted Luther Pendragon over ten days ago. The agency's former clients include the Hinduja brothers. Stewart-Smith said this brief had many similarities to the Peter Mandelson/Hinduja case.

The agency reports to the DNA Bioscience management team, led by chief executive John Rowley. The fees are undisclosed.

Luther Pendragon partner Simon Whale, meanwhile, said he
expected his MBO of the consultancy alongside three other partners to be completed later this month (PRWeek, 9 September).

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