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  • Writer's pictureHannah Duncan

The UK politicians who get paid by oil companies 🤢

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

What’s that, sorry? I can’t hear you… It’s so OILY in here. All I can hear is KER-CHING, KER-CHING, KER-CHING. Where am I? Westminster of course! The home of corrupt politicians keen to sell their climate vote for dirty money. Welcome!

As we tour around the building, watch out for the surfaces, they’re absolutely coated in blood and oil. Sometimes this can make the money a bit slippery to count, but not impossible! Be careful of dark corners too, there are a lot of them.

So, let’s begin our tour… Along the way, we’ll encounter five filthy politicians who just adore selling our souls to oil companies. (They sold their own long ago).

Nadhim Zahawi: Monthly salary of £30,000 from Gulf Keystone Petroleum

Opppsss…. We just missed him. See that bald head bobbing along towards the backbenches? That’s the right honourable (lol) Nadhim Zahawi. Now Zahawi has his fingers in lots of gloopy pies. Especially the offshore ones. But one of the dirtiest and most grotesque things that Zahawi is balls-deep in, has to be his filthy affair with oil companies. Well… their money. This politician cannot get enough of soaking his corrupt soul in oil money. It’s like a sexy bath for him.

You see, before he came into office, young Nadhim Zahawi worked as a "fixer" for oil companies. Fixers - as defined by The Green Optimistic - are "the shady powerful billionaire contacts oil companies use to get things done". If you think that was already a sign that he should never have been in government, you don’t understand the Tory priorities! This made him totally perfect for the job! After all, a healthy planet is sooooooo overrated, right? What we want is MONEY! And offfffffffff….. Did he get it. Zahawi received over £1 million from oil companies while in office.

In October 2015, Zahawi pocketed £52,325 from Gulf Keystone Petroleum, as well as a monthly salary of £20,000+. Later that month, Zahawi voted against legislation designed to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles. The following year, Zahawi voted against requiring energy companies – like Gulf Keystone Petroleum - to start capturing and storing carbon. Basically, he voted for his boss. The guy paying him £20,000 a month. That’s really f**king obvious. And he was rewarded for it! In 2017, Zahawi got a pay rise! His monthly salary from Gulf Keystone Petroleum went up to £30,000. In 2018, Zahawi “officially” stopped receiving a salary, but he got a lovely £116,000 present upon leaving. And it seems to be working…

Since 2017, Zahawi has used every single vote he has to benefit the oil company that pays him. Including that thing where the government forced us to take out a loan with energy companies. You can check out his voting history here.

newspaper clipping of Nadhim Zahawi pocketing 1.3 million

Liz Truss: Shhh…. £100,000+ sneaked over from BP

Feeling a little queasy? Don’t worry. That’ll be the oil fumes because we’re in the same room as Zahawi. Soon your brain cells will start to die, and Liz Truss will start seem like a good person to run the country. Speak of the devil! Here she is… A little red in the face still from her 49-day embarrassment. Let’s go over her oily relations.

Liz Truss worked in Shell for years before joining parliament. You could say this was a massive red flag. Uhhh yeah it was… Another red flag for the Tory Party bunting! Let’s get this sleaze started! Today’s politicians absolutely adore an oily motherf**ker, and Truss fit right in.

Under Truss’ short and traumatic leadership, the only winners were oil and gas companies who reported explosive profits, while she fought to reintroduce fracking in the UK. Her impact has been disastrous on both the planet and the economy. But she won’t be too upset, because at least she got a lot of money! Kerrrrr-ching!

Now the leaders at BP are a sneaky bunch. They basically wrote the playbook on how to greenwash. And they would never be stupid enough to transparently hand over £100,000+ to Truss in exchange for policies. No way. Instead, they made a big effort to cover their tracks, and hide the donations through layering (a nifty little trick that most money launderers enjoy). So some of the money (around £30,000) came from different individuals who work for the BP-funded Institute of Economic Affairs. £100,000 came from the wife of a former employee of BP. And I’m sure that there are many more dirty little trickles we’re not even aware of.

Truss also pocketed upwards of £30,000 from pro-fracking groups and …. Opppsssiieee…. By sheer coincidence, she sought to legalise fracking within her first two days of office. That wasn’t smoothly done. Truss should probably get some lessons from BP about how to greenwash because that move was a little too blatant and everyone saw straight through it.

Newspaper clipping showing BP giving Truss money

Jacob Rees-Mogg: And just like that … Corruption and the City

corruption and the city - spoof of sex and the city with rees mogg

Now, it may be hard to see him over all the smoke and dust in the air, but if you pop on this gas mask and squint hard, you may be able to make out the cartoonish shadow of Jacob Rees-Mogg. Or should we call him Rees-Smogg.

This pollution-loving Victorian pencil famously wants to suck “every cubic inch of gas out of the North Sea. And judging by how much he loves getting money from oil companies, that’s probably not all he wants to suck. This slimy politician scoops up millions from dirty fossil fuel investments.

As a founding partner of Somerset Capital, Rees-Smogg has some serious interests in oil. In 2014 he was referred to the Parliament watchdog for not declaring that his hedge fund’s £5.7 million in Russian gas, £3 million in mining and £2.4 million in other oil and gas production.

Rees-Smogg has fervently voted against climate legislation. Like, FERVENTLY. In the past three years, he didn’t vote for a single green measure. It’s just been NO, NO, NO. And he consistently pushed for dirty energy companies to get more money. Of course, these moves directly benefit his fund. When they get more money, he gets more money. Dirty.

This climate Jack the Ripper has done some other seriously shady City deals too. He gets money from deforestation and he backs climate deniers…

But it gets shadier… In September 2022, Rees-Smogg accepted a £22,000 donation from a character who both invests in Russian oil and bet AGAINST the pound. It’s safe to say that the investment paid off. The pound tanked, but at least old Smogg face got some money from his slimy mate. Suspicious much?

Probably you think this horrific Disney villain can’t get any worse. But sadly, he can. The hideously privileged Rees-Mogg is also against the right to abortion. Yep. Something that is literally none of his f**king business. Pass the sick bucket.

Sir John Hayes: £50,000 a year from oil trader BB Energy

As we reach the halfway point of this oily Westminster Tour, I must congratulate you on staying conscious. By now you probably have a serious petrol high. But don’t worry if you get the giggles, because we’re about to encounter Sir John Hayes who’s been laughing all the way to the bank (or voting ballot) for years!

Slimy ol’ Hayes receives £50,000 a year from BB Energy, an oil trader. Apparently for just a few hours work! Would that include time it takes to vote against climate change, by chance? It seems so! Since taking on the job, Sir John Hayes has been diligently voting against climate policies. By my count, he has voted against green energy at least 11 times.

As well as his £80,000+ salary for serving us the people (lol), and his £50,000 salary from BB Energy. The Hayes household gets another income stream too! Mrs Hayes is paid £25,000 annually to be her husband's “office manager”… LOOOOLLLLLLLL!!!!!! (Honestly, I can’t even. Priti Patel did the same, employing her husband. Do they think we’re stupid?! What a joke).

Yet, although Hayes is extremely generous with our money when it comes to his family, the goodwill doesn’t extend to vulnerable people. Hayes has consistently voted to cut benefits for those in need, including welfare, disability and housing. While he soaks up nearly £200k. Where’s that sick bucket again…?

newspaper clipping about john hayes second job in oil

Mark Pritchard: £46,800 a year from Linden Energy Holdings

Still with us? Excellent. You clearly have a strong stomach for fossil fuels and dirty money … You’re not a Tory by chance? As we continue the tour, let’s move over to the likes of Mark Pritchard. You might struggle to see him in the house today, seeing as he’s probably not here. Hardworking Pritchard has a whooping six additional jobs!

By my count, over the past 12 months, he’s racked up an additional £89,950 ON TOP of his £84,000+ salary.

A massive chunk (close to £40,000) has come from US oil company Linden Energy, where Pritchard works as a Communications Consultant. Predictably and disturbingly, since his employment, Pritchard has used his power to vote against climate policies. One after the other, BAM BAM BAM he votes in favour of oil companies. Pritchard is terrible for the environment. He's sold out his responsibilities to people and the planet. Linden Energy is certainly getting its money’s worth.

Disturbingly, this MP has also been arrested for rape. Ummm.... why the hell are these people in power?!

newspaper clipping about Mark Pritchard and his oil job

As with all tours, there are many more things to see around here – Alan Duncan, Alistair Burt, and Conor Burns all spring to mind… but our time (and consciousness) is coming to an end in this oily building. If you’re interested to find out more about UK politicians who sell their votes to oil tycoons, check out literally ANY Conservative party member, and you’ll probably find a little link somewhere. Even in the House of Lords, 43 members have financial links to oil companies.

Thank you for joining! Mind that big gloopy puddle of oil seeping from the backbenchers there. And do check out our other tours and life tips, including Tory Money Saving Hacks and Priti by name. Psycho by nature.

Goodbye now... ugh... where's the sick bucket again ... Anyone got a mint...? 🥴

Houses of Parliament petrol green and smoking efffects

.... Why does this matter?

It matters because corruption kills. Pure and simple. Last year 15,000 people died from climate change. 30 million Pakistanis were flooded from their homes. East Africa is suffering from devastating droughts, 16.7 million people face food insecurity.

The climate crisis is already here. The damage done over the past decade is irreversible. Our children and their children will suffer the consequences.

Politicians have an obligation to protect us. They had a duty to step up and prevent climate disasters. But instead, they have lined their own wallets with dirty money while the planet suffers. It's blood money. They shouldn't be in power, they should be in prison.

How much of this could have been avoided if honest people were in charge?

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