Speaking on the recent alleged scandal surfacing around former Exchequer Secretary Robert Jenrick MP, Redcar and Cleveland Councillor and Labour leader Carl Quatermain said,
“The alleged “cash for favours” scandal surfacing around former Exchequer Secretary Robert Jenrick MP is deeply concerning for local shareholders of the Sirius Mineral, Woodsmith Potash Mine project, many who lost their life savings. We now know Mr. Jenrick was also having meetings with his “family friend” billionaire Idan Ofer, who just happens to be the rival owner of Cleveland Potash, whilst he was considering Sirius’ request for government support. Support that never came which resulted in buy out, stock price collapse and local people losing a fortune.
“How this is not a conflict of interest beggars belief and Boris Johnson needs to recognise that and act accordingly. Let’s not forget, Sirius Minerals were heavily invested and completely committed to this project with construction well underway. They had raised £1.5billion, largely through 85,000 investors, created 1500 jobs with the promise of 1000 new jobs by 2021. They had also provided a community pot of £2m for local projects.
“This project was the poster child for the Northern Powerhouse and Sirius had worked in partnership with this borough for ten years on this project. But when support was needed, Jacob Young MP, Simon Clarke MP and the Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council’s Lib-Indy administration turned their backs. There was no sway or confidence given to steer the government to provide the loan guarantee that would have saved Sirius. Had they done so, Sirius could have secured $2.5bn, protected local shareholder’s investment and provided stability to the workforce. In light of these new revelations, questions need to be raised as to why Jenrick did not declare his close relationship with the rival Potash business owner.”