Details emerge of contractor's payments to private detective accused of keeping blacklist

Sir Robert McAlpine paid more than £26,000 to the firm at the centre of allegations regarding a “blacklist” of 3,200 construction workers, it has been claimed.

According to the Times, Sir Robert McAlpine was billed for £26,841 by Ian Kerr, a private detective accused by the Information Commissioner of keeping a database of construction workers involved in trade union and employment disputes.

Unions have called the database a “blacklist”, which major construction firms would use to vet potential employees, though Kerr has denied these claims.

The contractor, which is building the stadium for the 2012 Olympic Games, allegedly paid as much as £5,951 to Kerr between the months of April and June 2008. It is one of forty companies accused of paying for information.

Kerr is to be prosecuted under the Data Protection Act, said the Information Commissioner. If found guilty, he could face an unlimited fine. The companies that paid for his information could be subject to legal action from individuals unfairly refused employment.

Sir Robert McAlpine was unavailable for comment.