Ian Taylor, the Garden Bridge and war

The Garden Bridge are “thrilled” to be sponsored by the Taylor Family Foundation. An hour on Google can drive you to despair – what a dirty, bloody business this bridge building is.

Fire in Libyan war

Libya – a business opportunity

The Taylor Family Foundation’s objective, their web site says, is to “help and support children and young people”. The Foundation gets through roughly £1,5m pa, half of which always goes to the Royal Opera House and the Tate. Home Start Morton, a heavily featured project on the Foundation web site, got £7,500. The £2m pledged for the Garden Bridge, not found on the Foundation web site, would be an exceptional transaction indeed.

Foundation guvnor Ian Taylor is CEO of Vitol Oil. Vitol make $270bn annual sales. Vitol’s London executives are renowned in the industry for their enormous wealth, and use of private helicopters and personal jets. Ian Taylor is worth £155m himself.

Some bullet points about Vitol Oil:

  • Paid Serbian war criminal Arkan $1m to recover debt Guardian
  • Fined for bribing UN Iraq Oil For Food programme ReutersBloomberg
  • Traded oil with Iran against UN sanctions Reuters
  • Despite (or because of) his business partnership with/personal ties with/donations from Vitol, Government Minister Alan Duncan lobbied for sanctions against Gaddafi. Vitol then scored 100% of the contract to trade oil with rebel groups.  Guardian | DailyMail 
  • Duncan went on to work for Vitol Buzzfeed | OrderOrder
  • Vitol’s grab for post war Libyan oil was supported by Cameron and MI6 Reuters
  • Vitol donated £965,002 to Conservative party Mirror | Scotsman
  • Caught up in cash for access scandal Mirror
  • Vitol evade UK tax with highly unusual HMRC deals that shock the competition Medium | Telegraph
  • Leaked internal documents show in 2013 Vitol paid only 2.6% tax on global profits of $846m Independent
  • Part of secret lobby group in Washington Intercept
  • Vitol refused to sign a voluntary pledge to improve commodities sector transparency OilTradingGroup

My other posts on Garden Bridge sponsors:

Glencore, bringing the Garden Bridge and child labour together

The Garfield Weston Foundation: A foundation of misery