British Conservative ‘cash for access’ for Big Beef business

This 29 July 2018 Greenpeace video from Britain says about itself:

Secretly filmed: A leading think tank [‘free market’ IEA] brokered access to ministers for US donors looking to influence Brexit.

Read the full investigation here.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain today:

Probe launched into think tank’s alleged ‘cash for access’ scandal

THE Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) think tank will be investigated over claims it offered a US beef farming company access to ministers in return for cash, the Charity Commission announced today.

The commission has opened a regulatory compliance case into the IEA because of doubts over its political independence.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned, right-wing pro-Conservative London Times writes also about this scandal. They call the Institute of Economic Affairs ‘right-wing’.

Shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett said the allegations “severely undermined” democracy.

He wrote to commission chairwoman Baroness Stowell today, requesting an investigation over the IEA potentially breaking charity law.

Secret footage published by an undercover Guardian reporter on behalf of Greenpeace shows IEA director-general Mark Littlewood boasting that his colleague could get the reporter — posing as a representative of a potential US beef

United States beef is controversial internationally, because of mad cow disease.

farming donor — access to ministers because he “knows them all really well.”

When the reporter asks for names, Mr Littlewood lists Environment Secretary Michael Gove, former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, former Brexit secretary David Davis, his former deputy Steve Baker, and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox.

Mr Johnson, Mr Davis and Mr Baker quit the government earlier this month over PM Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit deal.

Mr Littlewood said the potential donor could fund and shape “substantial content” in research reports commissioned by the IEA.

Such reports would conclude — in return for £42,500 — that US beef should be allowed to be sold in Britain in a free trade deal.

Mr Trickett said in his letter: “When big money uses underhand ways to influence political decisions it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that democracy is being severely undermined.

“The system is clearly not working if a registered charity, supposedly prohibited in law from having a political purpose, uses foreign money to lobby politicians to support its extreme political agenda.”

He said the evidence supporting the accusations was “worryingly convincing.”

8 thoughts on “British Conservative ‘cash for access’ for Big Beef business

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