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ANNA MIKHAILOVA: Another fine mess for Quintessentially's Ben? 

Want a private jet to the Maldives, a session with the best plastic surgeon or a private tutor for little Aloysius? If so, Ben Elliot’s lifestyle management service Quintessentially is available.

But don’t expect the Duchess of Cornwall’s nephew Ben to be your personal night concierge – as he’s busy running the Tory Party, thanks to chum Boris Johnson, who made him co-chairman in 2019.

The PM’s fellow Etonian didn’t get off to a good start and was soon apologising for his role in a quintessential lobbying scandal.

Don’t expect the Duchess of Cornwall’s nephew Ben to be your personal night concierge – as he’s busy running the Tory Party, thanks to chum Boris Johnson, who made him co-chairman in 2019

He had helped arrange a ‘tacky’ fundraising dinner at the Savoy Hotel where developer and Tory donor Richard Desmond just happened to be seated next to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick and urged him to back his plans for a £1 billion homes scheme in East London. 

Top Tories ridiculed Elliot, a former Sloaney bar owner, for trying a little too hard to impress the head boy with his efforts to boost party coffers.

Arguably, the role of party chairman involves more than schmoozing high-rollers. Perhaps even an elementary grasp of corporate governance? Alas, Elliot, 45, has a chequered record at the helm of Quintessentially.

In 2019, two female executives claimed he and his co-founders had created a hostile working environment. This was denied but Quintessentially paid big bucks to settle a lawsuit in return for the women’s shares as part of a restructuring.

The PM’s fellow Etonian didn’t get off to a good start and was soon apologising for his role in a quintessential lobbying scandal

The claim cited an accountant’s report describing the group’s structure as ‘opaque and complex’. There’s Quintessentially Events, Arts, Villas, Education, Gifts, Driven, Aviation and so on; all serving whims of the profligate rich which sits oddly with Elliot’s role, courtesy of Michael Gove, as Government, er, food and waste tsar.

   

More from Anna Mikhailova For The Mail On Sunday...

You’d think repeatedly breaking the law would also be a bad look, but Quintessentially UK Limited and 14 sister companies are now up to one year late in filing their accounts – an offence with £1,500 fines per firm and ultimately directors personally liable if it gets to court.

Quintessentially says it had a deadline extension but didn’t provide evidence, however. Elliot denies breaking the law. Regulator Companies House confirmed late filing of accounts is a criminal offence.

The Tory press office declined to comment on whether Elliot’s position as co-chairman and Government adviser was tenable.

At the very least he could add a new company to his empire – Quintessentially Late.

Tory MP Neil O’Brien is making a name for himself as the Government’s most feisty tweeter judging by his reaction to jewellery heir John Mappin’s emergence as a leading figure in the UK branch of conspiracy movement QAnon, whose followers were part of Trump’s Capitol Hill mob.

Tory MP Neil O’Brien is making a name for himself as the Government’s most feisty tweeter judging by his reaction to jewellery heir John Mappin’s (pictured) emergence as a leading figure in the UK branch of conspiracy movement QAnon

The heir to the Mappin & Webb empire is a proud Scientologist who tried making it in Hollywood and now owns a chi-chi seaside hotel in Cornwall where the Q flag flies at full mast. 

O’Brien yesterday described Mappin as someone who’d travelled ‘from Quinoa to QAnon’.

Bad news for Government transparency as 2020 passed without the Cabinet Office publishing the latest register for Ministers’ interests, which it should do ‘twice yearly’. 

Usually the register emerges in the summer, which it did, and at the end of the year, which it didn’t. 

The Cabinet Office says there was no breach of the Ministerial Code because ‘twice yearly’ applied to publication in December 2019 and July 2020, even though a register also appeared in July 2019!

It’s the kind of opaque and creative accounting that allows the chumocracy to award all those mega Covid contracts. 

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