The Legatum Institute was founded in 2007 by Dubai private investment firm Legatum Foundation, and became a registered charity in 2015. It is currently run by Baroness Philippa Stroud, a Conservative politician who vocally supports a hard Brexit. Baroness Stroud was appointed CEO in 2016.
Former Chief of Vote Leave, Matthew Elliott, became a Senior Fellow of the Legatum Institute in 2017. He was also the founder of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, one of the organisations pushing for deregulation and operating out of 55 Tufton Street.
Also linked to the Legatum Institute is controversial lobbyist Shanker Singham, who worked there for a year before leaving for a role at 55 Tufton Street organisation Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). Singham also has links to US-based climate science denial organisations.
Stance on Climate Change
An article posted on Legatum Institute’s website states that:
“Population growth—not capitalism—is the biggest cause of climate change, and the best way to save the planet is to give women more control over their own fertility”
DeSmog mapped the connections between the Legatum Institute and Shanker Singham, and how this provides privileged access to the UK government in order to push a hard Brexit. Singham’s links to climate science denial are also exposed, as Singham was originally a policy expert for the US-based Heartland Institute, which has received at least $676,500 from ExxonMobil since 1998.
Singham’s colleague at the Legatum Institute, Alden Abbott, also has ties to US climate science denial through authoring a report for the Heartland Institute, and his former position as Deputy Director of the Heritage Foundation.
Representatives from the Legatum Institute were present at “shadow trade talks” with other organisations known for spreading misinformation about Climate Change. The talks were hosted by IFT and intended to mobilise the groups to lobby the British government for their ideal US-UK post-Brexit trade deal.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove met with the Legatum Institute. This continues the connections DeSmog UK has previously mapped between Brexit lobbyists and climate science denial/free market organisations, since Gove is on the advisory board for The New Culture Forum, one of the organisations of 55 Tufton Street.
Along with Boris Johnson and Michael Hintze, who funds the UK’s premier climate science denial campaign group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), Gove was a member of Liam Fox’s doomed transatlantic think tank, The Atlantic Bridge. The group formed a special partnership with another free-market lobby group, but the group was dissolved in September 2011 following a Charity Commission investigation that found it was engaged in overtly political work, which was against its rules.