A Tory peer is under pressure to resign as chairman of an influential climate change quango after his private company was paid hundreds of thousands of pounds by green businesses. Lord Deben, the former agriculture minister John Gummer, is chairman of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), a statutory body set up by the government that has supported spending billions of pounds subsidising environmentally friendly technology. He and his family own Sancroft International, a sustainability consultancy that has received more than £600,000 from businesses that have benefited from these subsidies. A newspaper investigation alleged that Sancroft’s clients have included several companies and campaign groups that have benefited from policies pushed by the CCC, which Lord Deben has chaired since 2012. Clients have included Johnson Matthey, which makes batteries for electric cars and paid Sancroft almost £300,000 from 2012 to 17. The CCC has backed electric cars and Lord Deben has called for the government to speed up plans to make all new cars battery-powered. Lord Deben’s lawyers told the newspaper that “allegations of conflict of interest and other improprieties are wholly false and misconceived”. He had “at all times, made disclosures in accordance with the advice he has been given by the House of Lords and CCC”.
Times 4th Feb 2019 read more »