Richard Tice

Richard Tice

Credentials

  • Uppingham School. [1]
  • Quantity surveying and construction economics, Salford University. [1]

Background

Richard Tice is a multi-millionaire property developer and financier, who has led right-wing party Reform UK since March 2021. The Brexit Party became Reform UK in January 2021, when the UK officially withdrew from the European Union. [42]

Tice formerly chaired the anti-EU Brexit Party, launched in April 2019 by Nigel Farage to contest the European Parliament elections. Tice served as a Brexit Party MEP until Britain’s withdrawal from the EU . [2] [33]

Richard Tice is a long-running pro-Brexit campaigner, which he has said would be a “very simple process.” He has called for a “no deal” outcome and the adoption of World Trade Organisation rules. [3], [4]

In August 2015, he co-founded the group Leave.EU, originally named “The Know,” with businessman Arron Banks, and served as co-chair. In May 2018, Leave.EU was given a maximum fine of £70,000 by the Electoral Commission for exceeding the statutory spending limit during the EU referendum campaign, with the group’s chief executive, Liz Bilney, being referred to the police. [5], [6]

Tice also donated £38,000 to Grassroots Out, a rival pro-Brexit group set up in response to conflicts between the two main campaigns, Leave.EU and Vote Leave, and in 2001 supported the leadership bid of Eurosceptic Conservative MP, David Davis, donating £1,750 to his campaign. [7], [8]

Along with business consultant John Longworth, Tice co-founded Leave Means Leave, a pressure group campaigning for a “hard” Brexit. Longworth now chairs the organisation, with Tice and Nigel Farage as vice chairs. Its political advisory board includes Conservative politicians Owen Paterson, David Jones, Sir Gerald Howarth, Peter Bone, and David Campbell Bannerman, as well as the former deputy editor of The Spectator and Daily Telegraph, Simon Heffer. Heffer is also a “Professorial Research Fellow” at the private University of Buckingham, known for its free-market ethos and ties to climate science denial. [9], [10], [11]

Leave Means Leave is currently based at 55 Tufton Street in Westminster, a hub of right-wing, free-market organisations, which were accused by a whistle-blower of mounting a coordinated campaign for a “hard Brexit.” Tice also has ties to UK 2020, a think tank set up by Owen Paterson also based at Tufton Street, having spoken at the organisation’s events and written a report for them on higher education in 2017. [12], [13], [14], [15]

Tice has written multiple articles for The Telegraph, arguing for a “no deal” Brexit, and is frequently quoted in the Daily Express. [16], [17]

According to his website, Tice has been a member of, and donor to, the Conservative Party for much of his adult life. Tice put himself forward as a Conservative candidate for Mayor of London but failed to make the shortlist. [18], [19]

Tice is also close friends with the pro-Brexit Labour MP Kate Hoey, who he has known for almost twenty years, according to Arron Banks’ book, The Bad Boys of Brexit. [20]

Tice is the grandson of Bernard Sunley, a major property developer and opencast coal mine owner. The charitable trust Sunley set up in his name and which is now run by the family makes hundreds of donations each year, including to the controversial Countryside Alliance, which supports fox hunting and has campaigned for the BBC presenter, Chris Packham, to be sacked. [21], [22]

Tice is a vice-chair of Uppingham School, the private boarding school he attended. Conservative MP Alan Duncan is also a trustee of the school. [23]

Business interests

Tice is CEO of Quidnet Capital, an asset management company based in Mayfair which manages £500m worth of real estate. It was revealed in August 2018 that Quidnet had lost out on a £250m real estate mandate to M7 Real Estate, a rival firm which has been a vocal opponent of Brexit. [24], [19]

The Times reported in December 2018 that Quidnet Capital was suing its former partner, Colony Capital, for £6.4m of unpaid fees it alleges it is owed. The founder and executive chairman of Colony Capital is Thomas Barrack, a billionaire ally of Donald Trump who chaired the committee overseeing Trump’s inauguration, raising over $100m in donations. [25], [26]

Tice is also director of numerous other real estate and financial services companies, many based at the same address in Berkeley Street, Mayfair, listed below under “Affiliations.” They include Bathurst Developments, which has caused controversy for holding land through a Bermuda-based trust, thereby avoiding tax liabilities, and Sunley Property LLP, which Tice runs with at least 7 of his relatives. [27], [28], [29]

Stance on Climate Change

August 28, 2022

In a TalkTV interview with climate scientist Gerald Kutney, Tice argued: “There are some people who are obviously very highly qualified, but the rest of us should be allowed to be able to debate it shouldn’t we?” [39]

Following Kutney’s response, Tice added: “the point is, science is never settled is it? Science evolves because scientists quite properly challenge each other’s conclusions and of course, evidence changes over time”. 

Tice continued:

“I’ve always said that climate change has existed since the year dot and it will continue to exist. I’m a fan of reducing emissions because I want cleaner, quieter cities, I live in them.”

“What I’m not convinced about is that we are facing a climate catastrophe […] no one has presented any science to me that shows that if we get to net zero, if we get there, that that’s gonna make any difference to climate change which is affected by things that are much much bigger than CO2”.

After Tice asked Kutney what car he drives in response to Kutney’s implication that Tice is a climate denier, Tice responded: “How dare you smear me and label me for being a denier when I’m doing more to reduce emissions than you are!”.

August 14, 2022

In a segment titled “The Great Climate Change Hoax”, Tice asked climate denier Brian Catt the question: “We all accept that we’re in a period of global warming, but a lot of people are panicking aren’t they. Are they right to panic?” [40]

After Catt criticised what he called climate change “myths created by the UN” and the IPCC’s modelling, referring to it as “GIGO – garbage in, garbage out”, Tice said:

“This is really important folks because this is data. Essentially, the IPCC, they always talk about, we are 1 degree higher than the pre-industrialisation period than 150 years ago, but what you said is, that was the lowest point in the last 10,000 years, so in a sense, that’s why we shouldn’t be panicking and it’s been much warmer in the 2 or 3 previous periods.”

Key Quotes

August 28, 2022

During a Talk TV segment titled “Tice’s Sunday Sermon”, Tice argued that the energy and cost of living crisis in the UK was “the result of gross, gross negligence by politicians and by civil servants over the last decade and more, nothing less”. [35]

Criticising the Conservative Government for not lifting the ban on fracking, Tice said: 

“We’ve allowed our domestic gas production in the last decade to drop by 43 percent even though we’re sitting on huge energy owned by us all […] Brilliant, thanks for that you clueless civil servants, you useless politicians.” 

Tice also advocated for Reform UK’s “Emergency Energy Plan” as a plan “that can resolve this crisis”.

August 25, 2022

In a video live streamed on Reform UK’s Youtube channel titled “Global Energy War – Our plan to solve both the supply and the price crisis in the UK”, Tice criticised politicians and civil servants because “in their foolish negligence, they have chosen not to use” the UK’s “North Sea oil and gas, onshore shale gas, even coal for heaven’s sake” to resolve the energy crisis. [41]

When addressing the cause of the energy price crisis, Tice argued that:

“All of those who say to you that renewables are cheaper and we need more renewables, they are either deeply misinformed, or misleading you. It is simply not true.”

Later on, he added: “You can’t rely on the wind folks, renewables, because what happens when the wind doesn’t blow? Do we light up the candles? Electricity doesn’t work on the 23 million or so gas boilers in our homes across the country.”

Tice also criticised “the eco-zealots, the anti-shale gas lobby”, who he claimed were “funded indirectly from President Putin so that he could sell more of his own gas”. This claim has been debunked by Desmog. 

Finally, when setting out Reform UK’s Emergency Energy Plan, he said: “we’ve got to accelerate gas and oil exploration in the North Sea […] no more subsidies for renewables […] We’ve got to scrap the windfall tax, because we’ve got to motivate the energy producers, the investors, back into investing in more supply.”

July 27, 2022

During the Conservative leadership election, Tice said that the proposed U-turn in government policy to lift the fracking ban would be “a very good start” for the UK’s energy security. He continued: 

“We’ve got a huge opportunity here now to have a, literally, a trillion pounds worth of levelling up, by drilling down […] this is in our strategic national interest because we can reduce gas prices and there’s a massive win-win because we can also dramatically reduce the quantity of CO2 by using our own domestic gas as opposed to currently we’re importing almost 50% of the gas we use.” [38]

April 18, 2022

In a Telegraph article titled “Net zero will be new Brexit for Tories, says Richard Tice”, Tice predicted that divisions in the Conservative Party over net zero “will become as big as Brexit or bigger”. [37]

He also criticised environmentalists and the Conservative Party, saying: “Some Tories in the shires get bamboozled by the green lobby”. 

Discussing the content of Reform UK’s manifesto, Tice said they will be campaigning “for shale gas, and the best way to level up is to use your own energy”.

March 26, 2022

In a GB News appearance after a Reform UK rally was cancelled, Tice explained the party’s approach to net zero policies, saying: 

“Our view is very simple. We all care about the environment, we all want to reduce emissions and have cleaner air, but there must be a discussion about the best way to do that. […] We ought to do our bit. Our concern is that Westminster’s net zero plans is the wrong bit at the wrong price and we are seeing the price as we speak.” [36]

He later added: “We are just at base camp, Everest base camp, of the cost of Net Zero”. 

Explaining why he believed the fracking ban should be lifted, Tice said: 

“Under the UK, we have this wonderful thing called shale gas, and it’s incredibly valuable. In fact it’s so valuable, it’s to the value of the country’s mortgage. All the national debt […] Imagine how easy life would be for the Chancellor when he’s giving the Spring statement if he doesn’t have to worry about the finances because all of this value has been created and extracted”.

He continued: “We should be using shale gas”, but claimed that fracking had been thwarted by “vested interests” such as the Russian state who, he argued, funded “many of the environmental lobby groups” because “Russia wanted to make Europe dependent on its gas”.

DeSmog has reported that the claim Russia had supported anti-fracking protesters stemmed from an unsubstantiated remark from 2014 by the then NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Rasmussen said that Russia had “actively engaged” with environmental groups opposing shale gas “to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas”. Rasmussen, a supporter of fracking, declined to give evidence at the time, saying: “That is my interpretation.”

Tice also said that 25 percent of electricity bills were environmental levies, which he described as “subsidies to rich, mainly overseas investors, wealthy landowners taking money from the poor and giving it to the already wealthy”.

December 14, 2018

In an article published by The Telegraph, Tice advocated Britain adopting World Trade Organisation rules: [4]

Far from the panto-dramatics language of no deals and cliff edges used by the anti-Brexit gang, a World Trade deal simply means we will continue to trade with the EU and like most other countries around the world, we will do so under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.” [4]

March 29, 2017

In an article published by The Telegraph, Tice wrote: [3]

Let’s be clear, no deal is better than a bad deal, WTO rules are fine as a base case but of course the Government is right to try for a win-win trade deal with the EU. However suggestions that we should do any deal at whatever cost is unpatriotic and against Britain’s interests.” [3]

November 11, 2015

Tice told Bloomberg: [24]

The biggest risk is staying in something that, frankly, is flatlining and not helping its citizens… I don’t think there’d be any disruption at all. This is not cataclysmic.” [24]

Key Deeds

September 2, 2022

Tice tweeted an article by Paul Homewood, a retired accountant and climate blogger, which claimed “while it is true that summers now are warmer on average than a few decades ago, there is no evidence whatsoever that individual summers are getting hotter”. [34]

In his caption, Tice wrote “Calm down […] Does not feel like climate emergency. No doubt some lovely folk will show us why we should all panic”.

April 12, 2019

The Brexit Party, which Tice chairs, was formerly launched. [31]

July 27, 2017

Tice tweeted in support of President Donald Trump’s Director of Communications, Anthony Scaramucci, who was fired after just ten days in the job. [32]

August 2015

Tice co-founded Leave.EU with businessman Arron Banks. The group was originally named “The Know” and rebranded when an amended referendum question was proposed. [6]

Affiliations

Social Media

Publications

Resources

  1. Richard Tice. “Academies: a model education,” Reform, February 2008. Archived June 12, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  2. James Morris. “Brexit Party candidates list: The big names standing for Nigel Farage’s new party at European elections 2019,” Evening Standard, April 24, 2019. Archived April 29, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/YxAmC
  3. Richard Tice. “Of course no deal is better than a bad deal – I hope Theresa May has not abandoned this stance,” The Telegraph, March 29, 2017. Archived May 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/LiT0u
  4. Richard Tice. “Time for the Prime Minister to pursue a “World Trade” Brexit,” The Telegraph, December 14, 2018. Archived May 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/UIg1Y
  5. UKIP‘s Nigel Farage: I support both EU ‘Out’ campaigns,” BBC News, October 11, 2015. Archived May 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/rqsjg
  6. Greg Heffer. “Leave.EU fined £70,000 and campaign chief referred to police over EU referendum spend,” Sky News, May 11, 2018. Archived May 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Q11fw
  7. Richard Tice,” Electoral Commission. Archived May 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/FefAr
  8. Will Dean. “Faction stations: which Brexit campaign is which?The Guardian, January 31, 2016. Archived May 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/pyyWW
  9. Richard Tice. “Stop the betrayal of Brexit. Join us on the March to Leave.” Conservative Home, March 10, 2019. Archived May 3, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  10. Who we are,” Leave Means Leave. Archived February 4, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/7rihv
  11. Professor Simon Heffer,” University of Buckingham. Archived May 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/IORpK
  12. Our Campaign,” Leave Means Leave. Archived October 24, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/OSgms
  13. Chloe Farand. “Mapped: Whistleblower Accuses Nine Organisations of Colluding over Hard Brexit,” DeSmog, July 23, 2018.
  14. Homepage,” Richard Tice website. Archived May 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/ZhFnV
  15. Judith Burns. “Universities run cartel, says think tank,” BBC News, September 3, 2017. Archived May 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/bLP29
  16. Richard Tice,” The Telegraph. Archived May 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/AGErp
  17. Richard Tice,” Daily Express. Archived May 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/hp0qK
  18. Donations,” Richard Tice website. Archived April 29, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  19. Mike Phillips. “Exclusive: Major Brexit Campaigner Loses £250M Real Estate Mandate And Sues Colony Over Fees,” Bisnow, August 29, 2018. Archived May 3, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  20. Arron Banks. “The Bad Boys of Brexit: Tales of Mischief, Mayhem & Guerrilla Warfare in the EU Referendum Campaign,” Biteback Publishing, October 2016. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.
  21. BERNARD SUNLEY, BUILDER, IS DEAD,” New York Times, November 22, 1964. Archived May 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/zectY
  22. Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation Annual Report 2013: p37,” Bernard Sunley. Archived May 3, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  23. The Trustees,” Uppingham. Archived May 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/0sFYI
  24. Lianna Brinded. “‘Britain should leave the EU because it’s flatlining and not helping its citizens’,” Business Insider, November 11, 2015. Archived May 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/vZQFd
  25. Tommy Stubbington. “Brexiteer Richard Tice fights Trump ally for ‘unpaid’ fees,” The Times, December 16, 2018. Archived May 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/2SP5p
  26. Michael Kranish. “‘He’s better than this,’ says Thomas Barrack, Trump’s loyal whisperer,” Washington Post, October 11, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  27. Richard James Sunley TICE,” Companies House. Archived May 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/GEsjo
  28. READER‘S LETTER: Chesterton development can avoid capital gains tax due to trust in Bermuda,” Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, September 23, 2017. Archived May 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/0aisd
  29. SUNLEY PROPERTY LLP: People,” Companies House. Archived May 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/RdydX
  30. Richard Tice: Let UK embrace the world, not just Europe,” Evening Standard, April 14, 2016. Archived May 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/UMJ71
  31. Benjamin Fox. “Brits are ‘lions led by donkeys’, Farage says at his Brexit party launch,” Euractiv, April 12, 2019. Archived May 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/UCuRi
  32. Awesome new Trump hire! Watch Emily squirm as open hearted businesslike approach wins over silly chicken questions.” Tweet by @TiceRichard on July 27, 2017. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.
  33. Richard Tice”, Europa, Archived November 2, 2020. Archive.vn URLhttps://archive.vn/9JiWZ 
  34. Richard Tice. “Calm down… Summer 22 only 4th daytime warmest over 140 yrs, only 5th driest over 180 yrs Does not feel like climate emergency No doubt some lovely folk will show us why we should all panic” Tweet by @TiceRichard, September 7, 2022. Archived September 5, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/y7Y4t#selection-653.0-653.188 
  35. Richard Tice. “WATCH📺 : @TiceRichard on @talktv this morning discussing our Emergency Energy Plan. “…we have allowed our domestic gas production in the last decade to drop by 43%”. August 28, 2022. Tweet by user @reformparty_uk. Archived November 7, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  36. Richard Tice: We are at Everest base camp of the cost of net zero”, Youtube video uploaded by user @GBNews, March 26, 2022. Archived August 20, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  37. Camilla Turner, “Net zero will be new Brexit for Tories, says Richard Tice”, Telegraph, April 18, 2022. Archived August 31, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/ucdmP 
  38. Richard Tice. “Both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have indicated support for shale gas extraction “if local communities support it”. Ecotricity Founder, Dale Vince: “It’s fools gold. Fracking is a bad idea that nobody wants”. Tweet by user @TalkTV. July 27, 2022. Archived November 7, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. 
  39. Richard Tice. “Richard clashes with climate author Gerald Kutney following a Twitter spat in which Gerald labelled Richard “disgraceful”. Richard says “How dare you smear me and label me for being a denier when I’m doing more to reduce emissions than you are!“. Tweet by user @TalkTV. August 28, 2022. Archived August 31, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  40. Richard Tice. “Physicist Brian Catt says people “do not need to panic” over man made climate change. “What is happening now is almost totally normal“. Tweet by user @TalkTV. August 14, 2022. Archived November 7, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  41. Richard Tice. “Global Energy War – Our plan to solve both the supply and the price crisis in the UK”, August 25, 2022. Archived November 7, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  42. Sinead Wilson. “Who is Reform UK leader Richard Tice?,” BBC News, March 8, 2021. Archived February 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/jYkc5

Other Resources

Image credit: Screengrab from BBC.

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