Government draws fire over “planned” Department for Work and Pensions directorship for Amazon boss

The anticipated decision to give Amazon director Douglas Gurr a non-executive role at the Department for Work and Pensions has been attacked because of the firm’s tax record

By Jim Dunton

04 Feb 2016

Dame Margaret Hodge has led criticism of the expected appointment of a director of the online retailer Amazon to a senior board role the Department for Work and Pensions.

According to media reports, Gurr, Amazon’s senior executive in China, is set to become a non-executive director at DWP – however, the appointment has yet to be formally announced.

Hodge, the Labour MP who chaired watchdog the Public Accounts Committee during the last parliament, said the prospect of Gurr’s appointment was “disgusting” in the light of Amazon’s record on tax payment in the UK.

“They are killing off British business and jobs, partly because they’re not paying sufficient tax and so are able to undercut their rivals,” she told The Guardian.

Under Hodge’s leadership, the PAC scrutinised the UK tax affairs of Amazon among others.

Civil Service World approached DWP for a response. The department declined the opportunity on the grounds that it "did not comment on speculation".

Sky News originally ran the story that Gurr was expected to be appointed to the DWP's board in the coming days.

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