FORMER Dragons’ Den star James Caan was forced to defend himself against accusations of hypocrisy yesterday, after he was appointed as Nick Clegg’s new social mobility campaigner despite his daughters having held jobs at his firms.
The deputy prime minister launches a campaign to make recruitment more equal today, teaming up with Caan, who said: “Together we are committed to ensuring that no matter where you’re from, who your parents are, or what school you went to, you should be able to succeed in life.”
However, it was pointed out that Caan’s elder daughter Jemma works for a recruitment firm that the entrepreneur has funded, while his investment company, Hamilton Bradshaw, has employed his younger daughter Hanah.
Caan said both went through appropriate application systems and that the positions had nothing to do with family. “Despite my involvement [Jemma] still had to go through a rigorous recruitment process with a number of different candidates and demonstrate her own abilities,” he said.
A spokesman for Clegg insisted that Caan’s role would not be affected. “James Caan has made clear that he is committed to open and fair recruitment and insists that family and friends go through a formal CV and interview process to get work,” he said.