Lord Deben’s scandalous £600,000 conflicts of interests over vast payments funnelled to his firm, Sancroft International, from ‘Green’ corporations continues to be swept under the rug. Conor Burns submitted a written question earlier this week over Deben’s conflicts of interests, receiving a vapid response back from Energy Minister Claire Perry:
“The Chair of the Committee on Climate Change declared his interests with Sancroft International as part of his appointment process in 2012.
“We have received assurances from the Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change on their processes for managing potential conflicts of interests. These include a clear policy on conflicts of interests, publication of members’ interests, and actively inviting information on actual or perceived conflicts as the first agenda item at each Committee meeting.”
Perry has not done her homework – what Deben actually told MPs during his Pre-Appointment Hearing in 2012 was that:
“almost everything that it does has no connection with the Committee on Climate Change, but there was one thing that I felt we ought to disengage from, and I said that.”
Self-evidently Deben was not telling the whole truth given that £600,000 has now found its way to his company from big green businesses that Deben uses his powerful position as Climate Change Committee Chair to persistently lobby for handouts of vast sums of taxpayers’ cash to.
Cursory research reveals that Deben appears to have failed to declare his Sancroft interest more than 15 times in the House of Lords. Guido hears that Tory whips have been discouraging MPs from making a fuss about it, despite the fact that the Commissioner for Standards in the House of Lords has opened a formal inquiry into Deben’s behaviour. Why is the Government trying to cover up for him?