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19.12.02

BBC NEWS


Newsnight reveals inaccuracies in Iain Duncan Smith's CV


Aspects of Iain Duncan Smith's CV, relating to his education, are inaccurate and misleading, an investigation by BBC Newsnight reveals.


The investigation into the Conservative Party leader's education and early career - broadcast at 10.30pm on BBC TWO last night (Wednesday 18 December 2002) - was presented by Michael Crick, author of the best-selling biography of Jeffrey Archer.


If any of the following material is used BBC Newsnight must be credited.


The University of Perugia


Iain Duncan Smith's biography on the Conservative Party website, his entry in Who's Who, and various other places, state that he went to the Universita di Perugia in Italy.


This is not true: his office now admit that he went to the Universita per Stranieri, which is also in Perugia.


The Universita per Stranieri - or University for Foreigners - was founded in 1921 and is a totally separate institution to the medieval Universita di Perugia, founded by the Pope in 1308.


Although the Universita per Stranieri is a respected language school, it did not grant degrees when he studied there in 1973, although some students attained diplomas.


Mr Duncan Smith's office has now admitted to Newsnight that he didn't get any qualifications in Perugia or even finish his exams.


Dunchurch College of Management


The first line of Iain Duncan Smith's biography, on the Conservative Party website, claims he was "educated at Dunchurch College of Management".


In fact, Dunchurch was the former staff college for GEC Marconi, for whom he worked in the 1980s.


Mr Duncan Smith's office has now confirmed to Newsnight that he did not get any qualifications there either, but that he completed six separate courses lasting a few days each, adding up to about a month in total.


Newsnight has now spoken to 19 former tutors at Dunchurch. Most agree it is over-emphasising his experience at Dunchurch to describe it in the way he does.


John Garside, a former Dunchurch tutor, says: "I'm puzzled, flattered, but puzzled. What we did was offer short courses... it was not a continuous form of education by any means."


Newsnight has shown these details to some of Iain Duncan Smith's constituents in Chingford.


Several people assumed he must have been at both the University of Perugia and Dunchurch for several years, and obtained qualifications in either or both places.


Notes to Editors


The Conservative Party website page can be found at: http://www.conservatives.com/iainduncansmith/biography.cfm


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


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