Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) that she hopes will keep her in the job.
But while the Tory-DUP “supply and confidence” pact should give May the votes needed to govern, it also strengthens the bonds between the government and a group of climate science deniers that pushed for Brexit.
DeSmog UK has mapped the links between the Tories, DUP, and some notorious groups based out of Westminster’s 55 Tufton St.
Climate Science Deniers
The main bridge between the groups is DUP MP Sammy Wilson, who has described human-caused climate change is a “gigantic con” and an “hysterical semi-religion”.
Wilson has organised a number of meetings attended by prominent climate science deniers over the years.
In 2014, Wilson organised a meeting in the House of Commons on behalf of “Repeal the Act”, a group that seeks to repeal the UK’s Climate Change Act.
In attendance was former Conservative MP and known climate science denier Peter Lilley, who sits on the board of 55 Tufton Street occupant, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), and current Conservative MP for Monmouth David Davies.
Academic Richard Tol gave a presentation at the event. Tol sits on the GWPF’s academic advisory board. The GWPF’s director, Benny Peiser also attended the event.
Back in 2010, Wilson hosted a group of climate science deniers at the Palace of Westminster for “Climate Fools Day”. Former Conservative MP Christopher Chope was in attendance, who was one of only five MPs to vote against the climate change act. Labour MP Graham Stringer also attended, who sits on the GWPF’s board of trustees.
The DUP are staunch supporters of Brexit.
In the run up to the Brexit referendum it spent £282,000 on a newspaper advert in the London Metro – which did not run in Northern Ireland – encouraging people to vote to leave the EU.
Wilson is also associated with a number of prominent pro-Brexit figures in both the Conservative party and UKIP with links to 55 Tufton Street.
Prominent pro-Brexit Conservative MP John Redwood attended the 2010 meeting organised by Wilson. Redwood campaigned on behalf of 55 Tufton Street occupant Vote Leave in the UK’s Brexit referendum.
Wilson is also an associate of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. Wilson campaigned to leave the EU for Grassroots Out – which was created as a compromise between the warring Vote Leave and Leave.EU campaigns. Farage also campaigned briefly for Grassroots Out, and Farage and Wilson both spoke at a pro-Brexit event in March 2016.
Farage’s UKIP colleague and soon-to-be-retired MEP Roger Helmer also spoke at one of the climate science denial events organised by Wilson. Helmer is currently being investigated by the European Parliament for allegedly misusing funds.
The DUP’s Brexit connections also tie it to some members of May’s cabinet that have links to organisations based out of 55 Tufton Street.
Vote Leave was partially bankrolled by hedge fund manager Michael Hintze, who is also a GWPF donor.
Hintze is a well-known Conservative party donor, and has given donations to Prime Minister Theresa May, Brexit minister David Davis, new environment secretary Michael Gove, and foreign secretary Boris Johnson.
Hintze was also on the advisory council of the now-defunct think tank Atlantic Bridge. Founded by trade secretary Liam Fox in 2011, Atlantic Bridge brought together right-wing libertarians from both sides of the pond and was associated with two US organisations known to support climate science denial – the Heritage Foundation and ALEC. Gove and Johnson were both members of Atlantic Bridge.
View this map on LittleSis.