UK Election: No Comeback for Ex-Minister

UK prime minister Theresa May’s surprise decision two days ago to call an election in just seven weeks’ time on June 8 has prompted some former parliamentarians with energy dossiers to seek re-election.

However NGW can report that Danny Alexander – former deputy UK finance secretary (Chief Secretary to the Treasury) from 2010 to 2015 – is to stay on in his new role as a vice president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). A spokesperson for the bank told NGW April 20 that Alexander would be staying on in his new role, held since early 2016. Other UK reports this week had indicated that he would not be returning to Westminster.

AIIB vice-president Danny Alexander (Photo credit: UK government)

Beijing-based multilateral bank AIIB makes loans to road, airport and energy infrastructure projects and has already made a number to gas projects such as the trans-Turkey Tanap project and a scheme to add compressors and pipes to boost indigenous gas production in Bangladesh. It has 52 founding member states, of which 35 in the Asia-Pacific region and 17 beyond (including the UK).

Alexander belonged to the Liberal Democrats, junior partners in the 2010-15 coalition government. In contrast his LibDem colleagues, former UK energy secretary Ed Davey and former UK business secretary Vince Cable are both seeking re-election to their former outer London constituencies on June 8.

After last June’s UK referendum vote to leave the EU, Theresa May took over as PM and leader of the Conservative Party in 2016 from David Cameron who had held the PM post since 2010.

Alexander is understood to have been recommended for the AIIB job by former UK finance secretary George Osborne, a conservative and his senior at the UK Treasury, before Osborne was sacked by Mrs May in July 2016. Osborne is now editor of London's main evening newspaper.

UK sells Green Investment Bank

The UK government said April 20 it is to sell the state-owned Green Investment Bank to Australia's Macquarie Group for £2.3bn ($2.95bn). The green bank was a project called for by the LibDems, under their 2010 coalition agreement with the Conservatives. The government said the sale would "secure a profit on the government’s investment in the bank, provide value for taxpayers and ensure GIB continues its green mission in the private sector." Green Party member of parliament Caroline Lucas tweeted that the divestment was "a kick in the teeth for green economy."

The £2.3bn is made up of £1.7bn proceeds from the sale, with a further £0.6bn of GIB’s outstanding commitments that will be met by Macquarie and its partners rather than by taxpayers.

 

Mark Smedley 

 

 


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