Former Tory minister Charles Hendry to be ‘consultant’ to Russia-linked oil firm

Mr Hendry is being paid £60,000 a year to work with Vitol, meaning he will earn almost as much as his parliamentary salary despite the role taking him just one-and-a-half days a month

A former Tory energy minister has accepted a lucrative second job from a controversial oil firm with links to the regime of Vladimir Putin.

Charles Hendry, who worked in David Cameron’s administration until 2012, is being paid £60,000 a year as a “consultant” to Vitol, a massive oil trader which has a long-term supply contract with Rosneft, the Russian state-owned energy giant.

The job will earn the MP for Wealdon almost as much as his parliamentary salary despite taking him just one-and-a-half days a month.

The role has been cleared by the Office of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, the Westminster watchdog that polices former ministers’ outside interests.

Mr Hendry told the committee he had had “some contact” with Vitol during his time as Conservative energy minister.

It is not the first time Mr Hendry has prompted headlines about his commercial interests since stepping down from Government.

Last year, it emerged that he had signed a bilateral energy agreement to import electricity from Iceland when in office – before leaving and accepting an £18,000-a-year job working for Atlantic Supergrid Corporation, which is controlled by Conservative donor Edmund Truell and which is planning to import energy from Iceland.

Tamasin Cave of the lobbying group Spinwatch said of his post at Vitol: “Given the current geopolitical climate [in Crimea] this job is extremely ill-timed and highly inappropriate.”

In the updated register of members’ interests, Mr Hendry has disclosed that he has accepted the £60,000-a-year post as a “consultant to Vitol Group, an energy trading and service company”.

Last year Vitol went into partnership with Glencore, another energy giant, to lend Rosneft $10bn. Igor Sechin, a former deputy prime minister of Russia and a close ally of President Putin, is the company’s chief executive.

Mr Hendry told The Independent: “My involvement with Vitol has primarily been on UK and EU energy issues and I am completely satisfied there is no conflict of interests between anything I have, or might, be asked to do for Vitol and my role as an MP”.

“More generally, British companies have billions of pounds of investments in Russia, and billions of pounds more and many jobs depend on well-established trading links. In times of political stress, it is right that the Government seeks to protect those relations.”

A Vitol spokesperson said: “To date, Charles Hendry has solely provided advisory services to Vitol with regard to UK and EU energy policy.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Maths Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...

Maths Teacher

£22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week