Disgraced Deben’s Dodgy Drax Dealings

  • Date: 21/02/19
  • Guido Fawkes

Disgraced Deben lobbied for more green subsidies on the same day as his dodgy Drax dealings.

The formal inquiry into Lord Deben continues over the £600,000 in payments his family-run ‘Sustainability Consultancy’ Sancroft International received from taxpayer-subsidised ‘Green’ corporations – in what appears to be a flagrant conflict of interests with his role as Climate Change Committee chair. Now, confidential documents seen by Guido appear to show that on the very same day as Deben was arguing in Parliament in favour of expensive renewable energy subsidies, his firm was meeting with cash-guzzling, wood-pellet-burning, biomass generator Drax Group in a secret meeting that resulted in a £15,500 payment for SancroftNot bad for a day’s work…

The debate on 30 November 2017 was on an amendment to the Renewables Obligation Order, the largest and most expensive scheme to subsidise supposedly ‘low-carbon’ technologies – like burning wood pellets. Drax are the biggest recipients of Renewable Obligation support in the country, receiving a whopping £481m from the taxpayer in 2017…

Combined with money from other schemes this took their total level of public support to a staggering £729m in 2017 – all for burning dirty woodchips instead of coal. Somehow they still managed to make a loss before tax of £183m that year…

Deben attempted to play down the impact that these subsidies were having on people’s energy bills while arguing forcefully that Britain’s manufacturing businesses should not be “let off the hook” for the costs of decarbonisation. Of course as these costs rise, so do the subsidies that go to Drax. Yet Deben made no disclosure of his relationship with Drax. In fact Guido has found at least 12 instances of him speaking in Parliament in favour of measures which benefit his private ‘Green’ clients without declaring his Sancroft interests…

Deben’s lawyers claim that the Climate Change Committee gave Sancroft the go ahead on this project. How they ever thought it was appropriate for the Chairman of their supposedly independent committee to be receiving payments from the biggest subsidy beneficiary of them of all is extraordinary…

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