- Paul Nuttall is accused of falsely claiming to hold a university doctorate
- Online CV refers to ‘PhD, History’ from ‘Liverpool Hope University’ in 2004
- LHU given university status in 2005 and did not award PhDs until 2009
- Previously backtracked over boasts about playing professional football
Tim Sculthorpe, Mailonline Deputy Political Editor
Glen Owen for The Mail on Sunday
Ukip’s new leader dismissed reports he had faked his CV today as he blamed a ‘researcher’ for dubious claims he held a PhD and once played football for Tranmere Rovers.
Paul Nuttall told the BBC’s Andrew Marr he was not responsible for a LinkedIn page that claimed he concluded a PhD in 2004 – insisting he had repeatedly said he was keen to finish a doctorate he had started.
Mr Nuttall has indicated he will fight for a Commons seat next year when Andy Burnham quits in Leigh to run for Mayor of Manchester. He has vowed to re-direct Ukip’s effort at tackling the Labour vote.
Paul Nuttall told the BBC’s Andrew Marr he was not responsible for a LinkedIn page that claimed he concluded a PHD in 2004
Mr Nuttall has indicated he will fight for a Commons seat next year when Andy Burnham quits in Leigh to run for Mayor of Manchester
Challenged by Marr on his CV, which says online it includes a PhD from Liverpool Hope University, he said: ‘No, I’ve never claimed I’ve got a PhD. It’s not on my website.
‘It’s on a LinkedIn page that wasn’t put up by us and we don’t know where it’s come from.’
The row comes just days after he had to backtrack over boasts about playing professional football for Tranmere Rovers.
Asked about that claim today, Mr Nuttall said: ‘I played for five years for Tranmere Rovers as a school boy and a youth team player – I have never claimed I was a professional player.
‘It was one press release in 2010, put out by a press officer, who knows nothing about football.’
The embarrassment comes as this newspaper has learned that Mr Nuttall, who succeeded Nigel Farage last Monday, is hoping to storm the Commons by standing in the Leigh by-election early next year.
The contest will be triggered when Labour’s Andy Burnham stands down as he bids to become Mayor of Manchester. It gives Mr Nuttall an early chance to escape from the shadow of Mr Farage, who failed seven times to win a Commons seat.
Mr Nuttall’s educational achievement was listed on the LinkedIn professional networking site but was taken down on Friday, shortly after The Mail on Sunday started making enquiries.
Mr Nuttall is hoping to storm the Commons by standing in the Leigh by-election. The contest will be triggered when Labour’s Andy Burnham (pictured) stands down
A senior source at Liverpool Hope University told this newspaper: ‘You have no right to bandy those letters around until you have finished your doctorate and passed the viva exam. The education section is for qualifications you have been awarded, not ones you’d like to have one day.’
Last night, a spokesman for Mr Nuttall said the entry had been misleadingly completed by an ‘over-enthusiastic researcher’ and Mr Nuttall one day hoped to complete the PhD research into the ‘History of Conservatism in Liverpool’, which he started at the then college 12 years ago.
Liverpool Hope University declined to comment to The Mail on Sunday about Mr Nuttall on ‘data protection’ grounds.
But in an email sent to Mr Nuttall, a spokeswoman asked for his permission to ‘confirm to the media’ that ‘you gained a Masters qualification from us in 2003 and not a PhD in 2004 (I am, however, aware that you started the PhD course)… and that you were employed as a temporary, hourly paid lecturer at Liverpool Hope University between 2004-2005 and 2005-2006’.
It is not the first time that Mr Nuttall has been at the centre of controversy over his intellectual credentials: he was pictured in Ukip’s 2015 Election manifesto standing in front of a library full of duplicate books – the image had been digitally altered to make the collection seem more extensive.
Today Victoria Ayling and Paul Nuttall were out canvasing for votes in Sleaford town centre ahead of the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election on 8th December
Ukip sources said last night that Mr Nuttall was optimistic about overturning Labour’s 14,000 majority in Leigh: the party secured nearly 20 per cent of the vote in the 2015 General Election, and was just 1,300 votes off the second-placed Conservatives. It means he could win the seat on a much smaller swing than the one which propelled the Lib Dems to victory over Zac Goldsmith in the Richmond Park by-election on Thursday.
Mr Nuttall was embarrassed last week after a claim on his personal website that he had been a ‘professional footballer’ for Tranmere Rovers was denied by the club.
A Ukip spokesman said he had played for the Tranmere schoolboy and youth teams, and the embellishment was an ‘innocent mistake’ by a press officer.
A Ukip spokesman said: ‘The LinkedIn page has not been updated since 2009.
‘We do not know who put up the page and we had it taken down before being approached by The Mail on Sunday.’
Published at Sun, 04 Dec 2016 11:15:36 +0000