BY HELEN NIANIAS
The Tory life peer, Charles Guy Rodney Leach, Baron Leach of Fairford—or Lord Leach for short—knows how to make the best of friends in high places.
The Harrow- and Oxford-educated banker has used his considerable wealth and connections to make sure he stays on top, and describes “those in the 40 per cent tax band” as “the aspirational”. He is chums with Jacob Rothschild, who once funnelled £700 million into a planet-friendly Indonesian coal-mining company,
Leach is a former deputy chair of Jardine Lloyd Thompson, a multinational insurance business, 40 per cent of which is owned by a Bermuda-registered conglomerate and still currently lists a shareholding in oil multinational BP on his House of Lords declaration of interests.
Leach aligns the bulk of concerns about man-made global warming with anti-capitalism, presumably afraid that people questioning free-market ethics would drive down his profit margins.
He believes that modern climate change activists want to return Britain to the “pre-modern age, at a staggering expense to global prosperity”—suggesting that his main concern about the polar ice caps melting is that his bottom line might be undermined.
“Britain must retain—or regain—its status as an airline hub,” Leach argued in 2012. “The Climate Change Act [should] be suspended until the crisis is over. We are virtually the only major country still harbouring the illusion of carbon free energy, which is already bringing us unaffordable electricity bills and destroying our industrial competitiveness.
“We need thriving banks… During the emergency we [should] trust them to run their businesses soundly and will suspend enactment of any super-regulation.”
Leach, a natural eurosceptic, believes that “the EU is a bureaucratic oligarchy, not a democracy”. Some might point out that the idea of peerage is undemocratic in itself.
Leach was made a Lord for the Conservatives in 2006. In 2005 he donated money to the then shadow education secretary, David Cameron. Last year, he donated £3,000 to the party.
After DeSmog UK named him as a donor to GWPF he made the following statement: “I have been an occasional, irregular, small donor to the Conservative Party and to the GWPF.