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Tory MP failed to declare Shell shares while environment secretary

11 Aug 2023 3 minute read
Theresa Villiers MP. Photo Yui Mok/PA Wire

A Conservative MP failed to declare that she held shares valued at more than £70,000 in Shell while she was environment secretary.

Theresa Villiers admitted her shareholding in the oil and gas company via her latest update to the register of members’ financial interests.

Under the section “other shareholdings, valued at more than £70,000”, Ms Villiers’ entry says: “From 23 February 2018, Shell PLC; energy. (Registered 17 July 2023).”

Ms Villiers served in Boris Johnson’s cabinet as environment secretary from July 2019 until February 2020.

MPs are required to register any change to their registrable interests within 28 days.

A list of ministers’ interests from November 2019 did not include a mention of the shares for Ms Villiers.

The MP for Chipping Barnet’s latest entry to the register also included newly declared shares above the same threshold in drinks manufacturer Diageo from February 23 2018 and Experian PLC from July 29 2019.

Regrets

A spokesman for Ms Villiers told the Daily Mirror: “Ms Villiers deeply regrets her failure to monitor the value of shareholdings and has offered her sincere apologies.

“These shares are part of portfolio which is professionally managed for Ms Villiers and for which she has never taken day-to-day investment decisions.

“It did not occur to her that any single shareholding would reach the threshold for declaration, but a legacy received in 2018 caused that to happen.

“As soon as she realised this, she alerted the registrar of members’ interests and the standards commissioner. She takes full responsibility for the mistake.

“She accepts that it should never have happened, and that she should have kept track of the additions to her investment portfolio. She is taking steps to ensure that this never happens again.

“Nothing she has ever said or done as MP has been influenced by these shareholdings.”

The spokesman added to the Mirror: “When she was appointed as secretary of state, Ms Villiers disclosed to Defra (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) that she had a portfolio of shares which was professionally managed for her and over which she did not take investment decisions.

“She offered to place this in a blind trust. The prime minister’s ethics adviser said that this step was unnecessary because the portfolio was managed for her and she did not take investment decisions. So ministerial code requirements were complied with.

“Nothing she did as Defra secretary was influenced by any of these shareholdings.”


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Mr Williams
Mr Williams
8 months ago

This shows what the true motives of the Tory Party really are: never mind the environment, there’s money to be made!

Shame on them!

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
8 months ago

“It did not occur to her that any single shareholding would reach the threshold for declaration, but a legacy received in 2018 caused that to happen.” This is either a lie or an admission of incompetence. “She accepts that it should never have happened, and that she should have kept track of the additions to her investment portfolio. She is taking steps to ensure that this never happens again.” This is her admitting she has done wrong… “Nothing she did as Defra secretary was influenced by any of these shareholdings.” I am willing to wager that if one had time… Read more »

Annibendod
Annibendod
8 months ago

I watched Zac Goldsmith on Hardtalk last night. He accused Sunak of not giving a damn about the environment. He also explained how other political matters fade into insignificance by way of comparison and that we are faced with an existential crisis. He believes that it is stupid for the Tories to pander to dumb populism over this. He’s not wrong but I wouldn’t hold my breath on the Tories. A gumby party for gumbies.

hdavies15
hdavies15
8 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

I wouldn’t rely on anything coming out of Goldsmith’s mouth. All you can deduce from his recent spats is that there is a big schism within the Tory mob, but their common ground is that they will do their damnest to protect the interests of the moneyed cliques.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
8 months ago

Well well there is a surprise a Tory who is CORRUPT

Windy
Windy
8 months ago

If the excuse of “not knowing “or “not realising “is used when an MP is found to be breaking the rules ,why are the same statements laughed at when used in a court of law, but followed by the rebuff that ignorance of the law is no defence?

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
8 months ago
Reply to  Windy

Not knowing = ignorance and ignorance of the law is no excuse, if my memory serves me well.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
8 months ago

Another snivelling insincere apology demonstrating a clear admission of wrongdoing by a Tory which is then repeated and confirmed by a spokesperson who then mentions an ethics adviser to press home the conclusion that there was no wrongdoing undoubtedly due to the fact that they are operating under the new 2019 rules which supersede the actual rules so there, thumb nose, nah nah nah nah nah, flip the bird, do a moony, spit in the face of all who would dare to question them. Par for the course.

Richard
Richard
8 months ago

This might hopefully act as a prompt to some of our elected reps who hold strong views in support of tourism at any cost anywhere while reportedly having their own personal or close family links and interests which no doubt will pop up again should we see them leave office as the a now passed mp mate of mine said ‘ to spend more time with their 💰❤️money ‘

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
8 months ago

I see Ms Villiers attended private school and Oxford where the chief subjects on the curriculum are ‘How to speak well’ and ‘How to lie badly’.

hdavies15
hdavies15
8 months ago

“Nothing she did as Defra secretary was influenced by any of these shareholdings.” Did she ever do anything of any positive value while at Defra ? The impression I get is that she is just another dopey thick bitch elevated far beyond any competence she ever possessed.

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