Matthew Elliott

How Dark Money From Overseas Flows Into Boris Johnson's Government

Read time: 3 mins

With Boris Johnson sauntering into Downing Street having recrafted his own script from guffawing jester to grave populist, swathes of right-wing lobbyists have stealthed their way from the fringes of Westminster to the heart of government.

We know this, because we've been watching this slow erosion of democracy for years. In the time since the Brexit referendum, we and others have sought to uncover the connections of those now in the cabinet –  the money and friendly relationships behind the big changes taking place in Britain.

‘Brexit: The Uncivil War’ — What You Need to Know About The Real People Leading the Leave Campaign

Read time: 9 mins
Brexit: The Uncivil war

How was the Brexit referendum won?

That’s the question at the core of Brexit: The Uncivil War, written by James Graham and aired for the first time on Monday, which presents a two-hour account of events leading to the Leave campaign's victory on the 23 June 2016.

The overwhelmingly male cast plays the string of ministers, political activists, businessmen and strategists involved in whipping up support for the Leave side. In the foreground of the story is Vote Leave campaign director Dominic Cummings, played by Benedict Cumberbatch as the mastermind behind the campaign’s catchy slogan and the cunning strategist who understood the power of data in political campaigning.

Dodgy Deals, Climate Denial, and People Power — DeSmog UK's 2018 Year in Review

Read time: 9 mins
DeSmog UK frontpages

It has been quite a year - Brexit (still), Trump (still), and the inevitable crescendo towards the annual climate talks (which delivered a deal many think falls way short of the necessary action to avoid catastrophic climate change).

With the jingle bells ringing, and everyone rushing to get the 5.01pm train home for Christmas, now seems a good time to reflect on the year that’s (almost) past.

Matthew and Sarah Elliott: How a UK Power Couple Links US Libertarians and Fossil Fuel Lobbyists to Brexit

Read time: 27 mins
The Elliotts network map

If you have detected a distinctly American flavour to the rampant lobbying in Westminster corridors over a Brexit deal, there is a good reason why.

A close look at the transatlantic connections of the London-based groups pushing for the most deregulated form of Brexit reveals strong ties to major US libertarian influencers. These include fossil fuel magnates the Koch brothers — known for funding climate science denial around the world — and the man who bankrolled Donald Trump’s campaign, Robert Mercer.

At the heart of this network lies a little-known power couple, Matthew and Sarah Elliott. Together, the husband and wife team connect senior members of the Leave campaign and groups pushing a libertarian free-market ideology from offices in Westminster’s Tufton Street to major US libertarian lobbyists and funders.

Collectively, the network aims to use Brexit as an opportunity to slash regulations in the UK, paving the way for a wide-ranging US-UK free-trade deal that could have disastrous consequences for the environment.

Politeia

Politeia

Background

Politeia is a free-market organisation established in 1995 that aims to act as “a forum for discussing economic, constitutional and social policy,” according to its website. [1]

Read time: 6 mins

How the Voices of Tufton Street Brexit Lobbyists and Climate Science Deniers Become Embedded in the Mainstream Press

Read time: 10 mins
Tufton Street network connections with right-wing media

As the deadline looms for a final Brexit agreement between the EU and the UK, the Leave and Remain camps are readying for a second campaign over the nature of the UK’s future relationship with the union.

Both camps will seek to push their arguments into the British press, hoping to convince late-comers to their cause.

While national newspapers have long taken a stance on Brexit, op-eds, columns and opinion pieces will be a key tool for lobbyist from both sides of the debate to push their agenda into the public sphere.

Research by DeSmog UK shows how a network of hard-Brexit think tanks pushing for deregulation and with links to climate science deniers has secured a footing in the mainstream press.

Sarah Elliott

Sarah Elliott

Credentials

  • B.A. International Affairs with a Concentration in Spanish, University of Mary Washington. [1]

Background

Read time: 12 mins

Mapped: Whistleblower Accuses Nine Organisations of Colluding over Hard Brexit

Read time: 6 mins
55 Tufton Street network

Nine right-wing organisations including think tanks pushing disinformation about climate change have been accused of mounting a coordinated campaign to push for a hard Brexit, according to court documents.

Whistleblower Shahmir Sanni, formerly of youth campaign group BeLeave, claims that think tanks and campaign groups held regular meeting at 55 Tufton Street — an office close to Westminster and home to the climate science denial group the Global Warming Policy Foundation — to “agree on a single set of right-wing talking points” and “securing more exposure to the public”.

Some of the topics discussed allegedly included “new policy announcement by the Labour Party, developments in the Brexit negotiations, or any other political news story”.

The accusations were made in documents from an employment tribunal setting out Sanni’s case  against pressure group the TaxPayers’ Alliance, which he has accused of unfair dismissal after he spoke out about illegal behaviour at Vote Leave, the official pro-Brexit campaign group.

TaxPayers' Alliance

TaxPayers' Alliance

Background

Read time: 20 mins

Matthew Elliott

Matthew Elliott

Credentials

  • BSc in Government, London School of Economics (2000) [1]
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Arts [2]

Background

Read time: 11 mins

Pages

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