Rishi Sunak’s claim that Just Stop Oil ‘bankrolls the Labour Party’ is proven to be false

Sunak made the claim at PMQs

Rishi Sunak at the dispatch box at PMQs

Rishi Sunak, who promised to govern with integrity and professionalism, is doing everything he can to turn the tide of public opinion against the Labour Party, including lying.

On February 1, the Prime Minister told the Commons during PMQs: “What do the unions and Just Stop Oil have in common? They bankroll him [Sir Keir Starmer] and his party.”

Just Stop Oil is an environmental activist group founded after Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain, with organisers from both at the helm.

Fact checking website FullFact looked into Sunak’s claim and while it is certainly true that trade unions are responsible for a substantial portion of Labour’s income, it found no evidence that Just Stop Oil ‘bankrolls the Labour Party’.

The site stated: “Some people may donate to both separately. Most notably, an early backer of Just Stop Oil —founder of the energy supplier Ecotricity, Dale Vince— is also a major donor to the Labour Party. But this does not mean that Just Stop Oil itself funds Labour.”

It went on to add: “Under Electoral Commission rules, political parties must report all donations and loans of more than £7,500 to the central party and £1,500 to other sections of the party. The central party limit drops to £1,500 if more than one donation is made in the same calendar year.

“We can find no evidence that Just Stop Oil, or its main funder the Climate Emergency Fund, or its co-founder Roger Hallam, has donated to Labour. Nor, as far as we can see, have any of Mr Hallam’s companies.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer has previously condemned the activities of Just Stop Oil.

During an appearance on LBC a caller asked Starmer whether receiving money from Mr Vince conflicted with his views on the protesters. The Labour leader said: “He [Dale Vince] knows that nothing that he donates to the Labour Party is going to affect my judgement on this.

“Obviously it’s up to him what he does with his money. But the fact he donates will not, Kam [the caller to LBC] make a blind bit of difference to the tough line I take in relation to Just Stop Oil.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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