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Jobs For The Boys

June 5, 2016

By Paul Homewood 



I have noted in the past how many ex government ministers from DECC jump to lucrative jobs in the renewable sector soon after standing down.

It seems we can add another to the list, this a time a former senior civil servant at DECC, Hugh McNeal, who left DECC in March this year, and walked straight into a new job as Chief Executive at Renewable UK, the lobby group for the renewable industry. They give this bio for McNeal:




It is surely wrong that a supposedly impartial civil servant, who has spent years promoting renewable energy, should then walk straight into a job representing those very companies which have benefitted handsomely from his work. 

  1. June 5, 2016 6:10 pm

    It would depend on what dealing that he had with that group during his time in office. Or his subordinates for that matter.

    Since I am currently a public servant in Canada, I have a very clear code on conflict of interest when leaving my position. Here is the primary directive:

    “The first restriction is that they may not:

    a) Accept appointment to a board of directors of, or employment with, private entities with which they had significant official dealings during the period of one year immediately prior to the termination of their service. The official dealings in question may either be directly on the part of the public servant or through their subordinates.”

    So, back to my first sentence. You should determine what dealing he had with the group he is now with.

    • June 5, 2016 6:17 pm

      His job at Renewable Energy Deployment ran from 2010 to 2014, and this must have involved close dealings with both the renewable industry and Renewable UK

      He would probably argue that his last job at DECC, Director of Change, was more back office stuff.

      • Billy Liar permalink
        June 5, 2016 9:50 pm

        He probably chose the latter job so that he would be able to straight to the current job. Of course, he never spoke to anyone in DECC about his old job or any other operational matters at DECC whilst in his ‘transition to industry’ job.

    • catweazle666 permalink
      June 6, 2016 12:59 am

      Clearly you are not in a sufficiently senior position to benefit from the kind of quid pro quo that McNeal is privy to.

  2. martinbrumby permalink
    June 5, 2016 7:23 pm

    This kind of thing has been going on for far too long and will, of course, continue until someone stops it. And it isn’t just Civil Servants, the Minister / Secretary of State often plays the same game.

    Look at our old chum Charles Hendry MP (retd.)
    Once Minister of State for Energy between 2010 and 2012, Hendry (who far from being an Energy Expert as he jokingly claims, obviously knows far less than the average Commenter on here has long forgotten), he “has held a number of roles in the energy sector, including President of the British Institute of Energy Economics, chair of the Forewind Consortium from 2013 to 2015, and Commissioner of the UK Pavilion at the Future Energy Expo in Kazakhstan 2017. ”

    “A government review into the potential of tidal lagoon technologies across the UK will be led by former Conservative energy minister Charles Hendry, the government announced last month.”

    This is the guy who also “signed a bilateral agreement while energy minister to bring power harnessed from Iceland’s volcanoes to Britain through undersea cables. He will now be paid £18,000 a year to advise the Atlantic Supergrid Corporation, which is researching the scope for a transmission cable connecting Iceland to Britain, the register of MPs’ interests shows. The firm is controlled by Edmund Truell, the venture capitalist who has donated at least £280,000 to the Tories.”

    [Quotes from Business Green & the Grauniad]

    So if a bloke who appears to be a brainless lickspittle and knowing less about energy than my cat, can cream it off like this, who’s going to stop Mr McNeal?

  3. June 5, 2016 7:49 pm

    Don’t we have a right to know why this “publc servant” appears to have felt compelled to switch allegiances? Surely, nothing to do with money?

  4. June 5, 2016 8:27 pm

    When his appointment was announced it was said:
    “Undoubtedly, McNeal’s government-insider knowledge, contacts and political know-how will be invaluable to the trade body to lobby for renewable energy in the UK.” That says it all.

  5. June 6, 2016 12:02 am

    In the US, when Boeing hired the former Pentagon #2 procurement officer when she ‘retired’, the outcome was that both she and the hiring Boeing official went to jail, and the new air tanker contract was rebid. Airbus still lost thereafter. Something about France v. US.

  6. dennisambler permalink
    June 6, 2016 11:29 am

    You can hardly slide a sheet of paper between the major NGO’s and government bodies and research institutes. Check out E3G for example.,

    In particular, check out Nick Mabey, former senior advisor in the UK Prime Minister’s (Blair) Strategy Unit, formerly UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Environment Policy Department, before he joined government he was Head of Economics and Development at WWF-UK

    Tom Burke:
    Senior Advisor to the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative on Climate Change from 2006-12. During 2002 he served as an advisor to the Central Policy Group in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, (Prescott). He was Special Adviser to three Secretaries of State for the Environment from 1991-97 after serving as Director of the Green Alliance from 1982-1991. Formerly Executive Director of Friends of the Earth

    John Ashton, former “Climate Change Czar” from 2006-12, former diplomat, served under Chris Patten in the transfer of Hong Kong back to China.

    Appointed by Margaret Beckett, this is from a Guardian report at the time, 2006:

    John Ashton:
    “That has to be an international coalition and the core of my new job,
    which I am very excited to be taking on today, is to help Margaret Beckett
    and her colleagues across government mobilise that coalition.

    “The UK has a very extensive diplomatic network, powerful diplomatic
    assets which it can deploy in pursuit of this exercise.”

    He said he would also be opening up a “foreign policy flank”.
    “Fundamentally, this is a security issue, not just an environmental
    issue,” he said.

    After her appointment last month, Mrs Beckett said Tony Blair had told her
    to put climate change near the top of her agenda, building on last year’s
    G8 summit at Gleneagles.

    Achieving “a faster transition to a sustainable, low carbon global
    economy” would be a new priority for the Foreign Office, she said.”

    Jobs for the girls as well:

    Ingrid Holmes
    She led E3G’s work on the making the case for, and advising on the design and set up, of the UK’s Green Investment Bank, which now acts as a catalyst for scaling up private sector investment in low carbon assets in the UK. In 2012/2013 she worked with a coalition of investors and NGOs to make the case for reform of the European Investment Bank’s (EIB’s) Energy Policy.

    Before joining E3G Ingrid was an Associate at Climate Change Capital, a boutique investment bank specialising in low carbon investment, where she led their UK and EU policy work. She has also worked as a Scientific Adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; as an Energy and Environment Advisor at the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, and as Head of Policy at the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy.

    In 2009 Ingrid acted as an Adviser to the UK Prime Minister’s Special Representative on International Energy. In 2011/2012 she was a member of the Green Investment Bank Commission.

  7. June 6, 2016 12:33 pm

    Jobs : It’s a merry go round
    And ..It’s a MONEY-go-round for Politicians and subsidy GreenBlob corps

    ..they vote on the laws that create subsidies and then take jobs with the corps that profit from those subsidies (and restricted practices like solar/wind gets first priority on market)

  8. Adam Gallon permalink
    June 6, 2016 2:38 pm

    “Director of Change”. I wonder what princely salary that came with? Our taxes at work, where’s my torch & pitchfork?

  9. Bitter&twisted permalink
    June 6, 2016 9:57 pm

    Hugh McNeal is a climate crook- plain and simple.
    I wonder he was paid “extra” whilst he was in DECC, or whether this is this rewoard for “services rendered”?

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