“Dear fellow voters,

I’m sure that I am not alone in being curious about the background and qualifications of our prospective MP, so I started by looking at the bio on her website and left none the wiser. Lisa invites us to get in touch, so I did just that. I asked which charity she had been Chief Executive of, and in which businesses/roles she had gained her 12 years’ experience in International Finance. Perfectly reasonable questions, I thought. There was no reply, so after 2 weeks I mailed again and got a response from a party caseworker, devoid of any facts.

By this point, my curiosity was increasing, so I mailed again and was told that a CV for Lisa would be posted to me at home. It didn’t arrive. A week later I mailed again and a week after that a shiny leaflet containing absolutely no hard facts plopped onto my doormat.

By now, my curiosity was beginning to turn to suspicion. So I did some research of my own. I’ve presented the facts below, but please do make corrections if I have got anything wrong.

1) Lisa Smart is a founding trustee since 2006 of La Vida Vital Development Aid for Investment in South America, charity number 1115796 based in London. The average turnover for the last 5 years of published accounts is £55,489. All of the trustees act as unpaid volunteers. Once you know the name, it is easy to find out all about the charity on the web. According to the charities commission website, Miss Lisa Smart is not currently a trustee of any other charities.

2) Lisa worked for 9 years in London for Pictet Asset Management (PIC), a Swiss Private Bank. According to archived web pages from La Vida, her role was relationship manager for North American institutional clients.

3) According to her profile on Privatebanking.com, in 2010, Lisa joined Genesis Investment Management, LLP as Director of Client Relationships, with a focus on relationships with clients and investment consultants. In addition to her role with the Client Services team, she also runs the Genesis Charitable Trust. In her current profile on the LaVida website, she is described as Chief Executive of Genesis Charitable Trust.

4) Genesis Charitable Trust, charity number 1148643 is based in Westminster, London. It was established in 2012, funded exclusively by Genesis LLP. So far only accounts from 2013 have been filed, which show an income of £2.3m and expenditure of £1.5m. The annual report can be downloaded from the charities commission website. Lisa Smart is not listed as a current trustee. Her name does not appear anywhere in the 2013 annual report or on the Genesis website.

5) According to the Companies House database, Lisa Smart became a director of Stockport Canal Boat Trust on 29th October, 2014. She holds no other current directorships and has no closed or retired directorships.

6) According to her office, Lisa is a governor of Torkington Primary School. According to the website of Merton Lib Dems in her 2012 campaign to be elected to the London Assembly, Lisa was also a local candidate there, having lived in Wandsworth for 10 years and acted as a governor for a local school (Elliot school, since 2012 the ARK acadamy). The caseworker didn’t think to include the last bit.

I don’t have a party political view on the above, I just wish people putting themselves forward for public office could find it within themselves to tell the straight-forward truth. My best guess is that someone has determined voters may not empathise with a “Local” candidate who clearly isn’t and has actually had a career in Swiss Private Banking, or to some folks, “A Banker”. Unfortunately for the politicians out there, the power of the web means that there is no hiding place and the truth will out.

From what I can see, Lisa’s CV is actually quite impressive. There is still one question unanswered, though. Why does she want to be the MP for Hazel Grove?”