Gay groovy, oh so sensitive sensitive, and oh-so chic, giggly Alan Duncan whose office was so kindly funded by oil traders Vitol , was employed be them. Duncan, is of course, a former Tory vice-chairman and a supporter and close friend of Michael Portillo, and was a paid consultant to Vitol in the early 1990s.
He worked with Vitol's president, Ian Taylor, at Shell and was at one time a very close friend.
Duncan, a millionaire, made part of his fortune by brokering a deal between Vitol and Pakistan during the Gulf war. Duncan's company, Harcourt Consultants, continued to do work for Vitol in Pakistan for many years.
He was /is also a close friend of millionaire oil trader Bob Finch, who paid Arkan the Serbian terrorist US$1 Mn to settle a payment "problem" by "persuading" Zveto Dragovic to settle a "misunderstanding" over some oil, US$2 mn and who had rights to sell oil to what was then called Yugoslavia.(Guradian 2001)
This list of events may also help those anxious to follow the exciting career of the now Ex Conservative Trade Shadow Boxer.
1997 onwardsOmani government invites Alan Duncan MP on series of visits to Oman as an official guest. Over fifteen visits are declared over the next decade.
Alan Duncan registers ownership of Harcourt consultants, described as “trading as oil broker and adviser on energy matters.”
November 1999Kevin Maxwell’s company Telemonde, purchases a 49% share in Ahmed Farid al-Aulaki’s Desertel in exchange for shares in Telemonde. Desertel has a license to sell calling cards in Oman, via a relationship with the state owned telesoms provider, Omantel. Telemonde later takes a controlling interest in Desertel for an extra $3million.
1999Alan Duncan changes his register of interests in House of Commons. It now describes him as “Owner of Harcourt Consultants, adviser on energy and privatisation matters to foreign companies operating outside the UK, including the Desertel/Desertline group.”
2005Alan Duncan’s Harcourt Consultants is registered with the House of Commons as “dormant for the last six years”
March 2005:Vitol Oil revealed to be in negotiations to create an Oil trading joint venture with the Omani government. Vitol is said to be on “shortlist of two”
September 2005:Vitol Oil signs a multi-million dollar joint venture deal with the state owned Oman Oil company, creating Oman Trading International to market oil and related products from a planned refinery in Oman.
December 2005:Alan Duncan becomes shadow Secretary of State for Trade, Industry and Energy.
May 2006:Ian Taylor, CEO/President of Vitol, donates £100,000 to the Conservative Party. In October 2006 he donates another £8,000 and another £50,000 in February 2008.
March 2007Harcourt Consultants is re-registered with the House of Commons as “advisers on oil and gas matters for non-UK business projects.”
November 2007Vitol pleads guilty to Oil for Food trade in Iraq, agrees to pay $17.5 million restitution
June 2008Alan Duncan employs Carter-Ruck solicitors to obtain an apology from the Sunday Times to clarify that Ian Taylor donated money to the Conservative party, not directly to Alan Duncan.
June 2008Alan Duncan’s register of members interests makes clear his office was funded by donations from Ian Taylor which were made to the Conservative party.
Alan Clarke MP to take over as Conservative Party Trade spokesperson
Simply, beefy, beery, cigar chomping champion of the smokers is the only person they can put up, to dampen down the Knight of Darkness and lead the Conservative Party into any hastily called election.
... or possible gain the support of the rich Tory grandees prepared to fund such an election...
Watch this space.
PS : There may be a brief hiatus in service as Lord Patel has to undertake some major reconstruction surgery and Toni Fabuloso will necesarily be on hand to salve the wounds with restorative and gentle massage, oils, unguents and lotions liberally applied ... in all the right places.