Tufton Steet The UK's 'K' Street

Tufton Street and nearby Westminster addresses are home to a network of policy ‘think tanks’, lobbyists, pressure groups, PR and media organisations. They offer a range of services, among them offering access to politicians, promoting right-wing agendas, and providing a revolving door to government and media.

Think tanks

55 Tufton Street

Tobacco cash and ‘astroturfing’

The Greenpeace/Guardian investigation revealed for the first time that the IEA has long received funding from the oil company BP. openDemocracy can reveal today that the group also receives regular funding from British American Tobacco. In a letter to the campaign group Action on Smoking and Health, which holds shares in the company, BAT confirmed that it contributed “circa £40,000” to the think tank in each of 2015, 2016 and 2017, and expected to do so again in 2018.

The website Tobacco Tactics has previously revealed donations from British American Tobacco up to 2016, and that the think tank has worked with Phillip Morris, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International within the last five years. The current status of these relationships is unknown.

Asked about these donations, Chesterfield commented: “We respect the privacy of our donors and don’t place a list of them in the public domain; a cornerstone of a free society is being able to associate freely and we want to uphold that. However, our donors are free to make their donations known if they wish to.”

openDemocracy has previously revealed that in 2014, the IEA received a grant of $155,000 from the US-based Templeton Foundation to “seek alternatives” to “public, pay-as-you-go financed systems of pensions, disability insurance, healthcare and long-term care”, and to promote privatisation of each of these areas.