And so it goes on, well done to both the Good Law Project & The Guardian for highlighting this
We can reveal that just weeks before he was appointed Environment Secretary, Steve Barclay accepted a £3,000 donation from Sir Michael Hintze, a Conservative Party peer who has funded the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). The GWPF is a Tufton Street group that campaigns against policies to tackle the climate emergency.
In January, the GWPF was forced to report itself to the Charity Commission. This followed a formal complaint, raised by a cross-party group of MPs working with Good Law Project, which underlined issues with GWPF’s charitable status. These included its spending of hundreds of thousands of pounds on one-sided ‘research’, and its financial relationship with the non-charitable subsidiary Net Zero Watch.
Our Executive Director, Jo Maugham, said:
“Steve Barclay is taking money from a man who has been a key funder of a climate change denial group and who has ties to dark money HQ Tufton Street. And he’s the Environment Secretary?
“Is this some kind of hilarious Conservative Party in-joke? Because the younger generation aren’t laughing – and neither are countries like Pakistan and Mexico, which are already being destroyed by extreme weather.”
Unlike the Government, Good Law Project is taking the climate emergency seriously. We are using the law to tackle the sewage scandal, defend the rights of climate protestors, hold Ministers to account over their inadequate net zero strategy and challenge the Government’s approval of a fossil fuel exploration scheme on the edge of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
But we can only do all of this with your help. Anything you can give to support our work to protect the environment and hold power to account will help us make positive change.
We worked with the Guardian to look into this donation. A source close to Steve Barclay told the paper that:
“All donations to Steve’s office are declared in line with the MPs’ Code of Conduct. Lord Hintze is a Conservative peer and regular party donor who supports a number of Conservative MPs. Steve has never discussed environmental policy with him.
“Steve is fully committed to the Government’s net zero aims. Protecting our environment for future generations is one of his key priorities and that includes urgently tackling climate change.”
A spokesperson for Lord Hintze directed the Guardian to his maiden speech in the House of Lords, where he said he believes climate change is real.
But we think the Government has serious questions to answer over its shaky commitment to reaching net zero and safeguarding our environment.
Another conflict of interest concern has also been raised about Steve Barclay’s appointment as the new Environment Secretary, after it emerged that he is married to an executive at Anglian Water.
Good Law Project Team