Bassetlaw MP hits back at reports he received £3,000 from “car firm” operating in China

Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith has defending a £3,000 donation, from a motoring firm operating in China, which he received prior to opposing Boris Johnson’s push for a ‘green revolution’.

By Kirsty Hamilton
Friday, 20th August 2021, 9:29 pm

Mr Clarke-Smith came under fire after reports found he received the donation back in 2019, following investigations from national newspapers and environmental bloggers.

He was also slammed by the Greens – with Zoe Nicholson, the party’s New Deal spokesperson, accusing him of profiting from car emissions.

She said: “We often see those in the business of climate inaction point the finger at China.

Brendan Clarke-Smith, MP for Bassetlaw has defended £3,000 donation ahead of 2019's general election

“What makes this case particularly egregious is that here we have an MP who is himself profiting from increasing car sales in China.

"Like other MPs who benefit from non-executive directorships, donations and gifts in kind funded by the fossil fuel lobby, he is responsible for the lack of action on the climate crisis that has led us into a wholly avoidable existential crisis.”

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Mr Clarke-Smith responded saying: “Donations are dealt with centrally and are publicly recorded in the Register of Members’ Interests and with the Electoral Commission where appropriate. I do not deal with these personally.

“If the Green Party are offended by registration certificates and cleaning products then I would suggest they step out of their metropolitan bubble and see how the rest of us live.

“For many, especially in rural areas such as Bassetlaw, the car is a necessity, not a luxury.”

The response comes after messages from the Bassetlaw MP were revealed in The Sun, stating that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 was “a hard sell”.

An investigation by The Telegraph and DeSmog, an investigative environmental blog, then found the Bassetlaw MP had taken £3,000 in 2019 from a car firm operating in China.

The Sun revealed messages where Mr Clarke-Smith also said: "It can’t happen overnight – and others need to pull their weight, rather than us doing all the legwork.”

The £3,000 donation, ahead of the 2019 General Election, was from IM Group, a UK import-export company whose automotive wing, International Motors Ltd, claims to work with “some of the largest vehicle manufacturers” in China.

The company also distributes “highly-prized car-cleaning and care” products, and manages China’s branch of the UK’s Vehicle Certification Agency, which improves vehicle safety and environmental protection.