55 Tufton Street

55 Tufton Street

Background

The Westminster building located at 55 Tufton Street is home to a small but influential network of right wing think tanks including the UK climate denial group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation. [1]

The building itself is owned by Richard Smith, a businessman who owns HR Smith Group, a company that works on advanced aerospace technologies. The building was bought in 2009 by Specmat, one of Smith’s technology manufacturing companies. While he keeps a low profile, Smith is perhaps best known for flying former Prime Minister David Cameron to his home in Shobdon, Herefordshire, in 2007. Smith is associated with several of the organisations at 55 Tufton Street and also donated money to the Vote Leave campaign (once located at the same Tufton Street address). [2]

Stance on Climate Change

The building is home to several groups which spread misinformation about climate science and work to reduce protections for the environment. [2]

Key People

Building Residents

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), founded by former Conservative Chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson. Several of GWPF's members and funders are affiliated with other groups located at 55 Tufton Street. [1], [3]

Civitas is an educational charity and publisher specializing in health, education, welfare, and economics. Sir Alan Rudge and Lord Nigel Vinson are both trustees – Rudge is an advisor at the GWPF while Vinson has funded the climate denial think-tank. The group has been criticised by Transparify for its “opaque” operations. [4], [5], [6], [3], [7]

TaxPayers’ Alliance is a pressure group and think tank formed in 2004 by Matthew Elliott to campaign for a low tax society. In 2016 the TaxPayers’ Alliance, along with U.S. climate science denying pressure groups the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the Heritage Foundation, held a free trade event at the Conservative Party Conference. The group was, as of November 2015, a member of the Cooler Heads Coalition, a climate denial organization run by the CEI[8], [9], [10]

Business for Britain is a pro-Brexit campaign group and was an occupant of 55 Tufton Street until October 2015. Matthew Elliott of the TaxPayers’ Alliance founded the group, Matt Ridley of the GWPF was present at the launch of Business for Britain North East, and Lord Vinson acted as an advisor to the group. [11], [12], [13]

Vote Leave was the official pro-Brexit campaign group. The group was originally a resident of 55 Tufton Street but moved to a bigger office several months before the referendum. Members included Nigel Lawson, Matthew Elliott, Graham Stringer (also a GWPF trustee), Matt Ridley, along with prominent Conservative Party politicians Andrea Leadsom, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. GWPF and Tory donor Michael Hintze also donated to Vote Leave. [2], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18]

The European Foundation is a high-profile Eurosceptic think tank. The group is known for publishing a 2009 report entitled “100 reasons why global warming is natural” which argues there is no proof that human influence has anything to do with climate change. The report was published around the time of the Copenhagen climate summit. Members of the group’s advisory board include Richard Smith, owner of 55 Tufton Street, Matthew Elliott, Owen Paterson, former environment secretary and Chairman of UK2020, another organisation based at 55 Tufton Street. [19], [20], [21], [22]

UK2020 is a right-wing think tank which has been called the British version of the American Tea Party and was set up by Owen Paterson in 2014. Among the policy recommendations the group is calling for is “a robust, common sense energy policy that would encourage the market to choose affordable technologies to reduce emissions.” These technologies include shale gas and small modular nuclear reactors. Matt Ridley of the GWPF is a policy advisor for UK2020. [23], [24], [2]

The New Culture Forum is a right wing think tank working to change cultural debates they believe are dominated by “the left”. According to the ConservativeHome blog, Matthew Elliott serves as an advisor at the forum, while Michael Gove, UK environment secretary, has spoken at its events. [25], [26], [27]

55 Tufton Street Contact & Address

55 Tufton Street

Westminster

SW1P 3QL

Related Organizations

57 Tufton Street

The building next door to 55 Tufton street also houses several other like-minded think tanks, including: [28]

Centre for Policy Studies is another free market think tank. Lord Vinson is the co-founder of the organisation and former director. [29], [30]

Institute for Free Trade is a pro-Brexit, free trade think tank launched in September 2017 by Boris Johnson and Liam Fox inside the Foreign Office. The group’s president is Eurosceptic climate science denier Daniel Hannan. [31]

2 Lord North Street 

Around the corner from Tufton Street is Lord North Street, which is home to the Institute of Economic Affairs. [32]

Institute of Economic Affairs is free-market think-tank and “educational charity” founded in 1955 by the late Sir Anthony Fisher and Lord Harris with the mission “to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.” Trustees linked to 55 Tufton Street include Lord Vinson, Neil Record, and Michael Hintze. [33], [34]

Resources

  1. Mapped: The Cosy Climate-Euro Sceptic Bubble Pushing for Brexit and Less Climate Action,” DeSmog UK, June 13, 2016. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/S4h4b

  2. Tom Bawden. “The address where Eurosceptics and climate change sceptics rub shoulders,” The Independent, February 10, 2016. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/PSL5U

  3. Cahal Milmo. “Multi-millionaire backers of climate change denial think-tank revealed,” The Independent, September 2, 2014. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/NFG6q

  4. About Us,” Civitas. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/LB8x8

  5. CIVITAS LIMITED: People,” Companies House. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/wQC7H

  6. Academic Advisory Council,” Global Warming Policy Foundation. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/JNL70

  7. Mat Hope. “‘Opaque’ and ‘Deceptive’ Think Tanks Spend Millions Pushing Brexit and Climate Science Misinformation – Report,” DeSmog UK, February 8, 2017.

  8. Brian Wheeler. “The campaign group: Taxpayers’ Alliance,” BBC News, March 3, 2008. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive. fo URL: http://archive.fo/ojkik

  9. Victoria Seabrook. “Climate Science Denying US Neocon Groups Promote ‘Simple’ and ‘Freer’ Trade with UK at Tory Party Conference,” DeSmog UK, October 5, 2016.

  10. Contributors,” Cooler Heads Coalition. Archived November 27, 2015. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/k9dXa

  11. Business for Britain Limited: Filing History,” Companies House. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Shctk

  12. Matthew Elliott,” Brexit Central. Archived December 7, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  13. Graeme Whitfield. “Anti-EU business campaign Business for Britain launches in County Durham,” Chronicle Live, January 5, 2016. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/6puhX

  14. About the campaign,” Vote leave, take control. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/PMq23

  15. Nigel Lawson named chairman of Vote Leave campaign,” The Guardian, February 3, 2016. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/aDFgV

  16. Board of Trustees,” Global Warming Policy Foundation. Archived December 7, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  17. Matt Ridley. “Voting to leave the EU looks like Britain’s best option,” MattRidley, October 15, 2015. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/2R3QZ

  18. Kyla Mandel. “Climate Denial Funder Michael Hintze Gave £100K to Vote Leave Campaign Day Before Brexit Vote,” DeSmog UK, July 11, 2016.

  19. About,” European Foundation. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/reW2J

  20. Martyn Brown. “100 reasons why global warming is natural,” The Express, December 15, 2009. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/XgJjS. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  21. Personnel,” European Foundation. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/syzEG

  22. Contact,” UK2020. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/SsRFi

  23. MP Owen Paterson to launch US-style 'Tea Party',” Shropshire Star, November 4, 2014. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/uaVkZ

  24. People,” UK2020. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/XnrEp

  25. About the NCF,” New Culture Forum. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/B3e5s

  26. Matthew Elliott,” ConservativeHome. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/LrcbH

  27. Michael Gove at the New Culture Forum,”, New Culture Forum, January 23, 2007. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/NXI44

  28. Tufton Street,” Endole. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/tGbwO. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  29. Who we are,” Centre for Policy Studies. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/tOFkr

  30. Lord Vinson,” Parliament. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/VeAGP

  31. Mat Hope. “Introducing the Institute for Free Trade: A New Pro-Brexit Thinktank tied to the UK’s Climate Science Denier Network,” DeSmog UK, September 27, 2017.

  32. Contact us,” Institute of Economic Affairs. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/C2m9X

  33. About us,” Institute of Economic Affairs. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Mqkgc

  34. Trustees,” Institute of Economic Affairs. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/7HGYF

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