An investment fund set up by top Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg has ploughed millions into companies linked to controversial global catastrophes.
Somerset Capital Management LLP traded shares in a firm fined nearly £1.1billion for its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.
And it has holdings of £33million in a Russian bank suspected of helping the military annexation of Crimea in 2014 and pro-Putin terrorists in the Ukraine.
Mr Rees-Mogg, a co-founder of Somerset Capital, stepped down as adviser for the firm before becoming Leader of the Commons in July – but he is still a shareholder.
And he was there while the firm had a £30million stake in Swiss oil drilling company Transocean Limited which owned the rig that exploded, killing 11 men and spilling 4.2million barrels into the Gulf of Mexico.
Tens of thousands of birds and marine mammals died and a thousand miles of shoreline was swamped with oil.
The revelation ironically comes after Tory leader Boris Johnson announced a ban on fracking in a bid to boost the party’s environmental credentials ahead of next month’s election.
Mr Rees-Mogg was also an adviser as Somerset Capital ploughed tens of millions into Russian state-controlled Sberbank. As well as its suspected financial links to the Crimea annexation, the bank is believed to have done nothing to stop the channelling of funds to pro-Putin terrorist groups in Ukraine.
It has been sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for funding Russian interests there. Somerset Capital’s holdings in Sberbank emerge after former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt blasted Russia’s “supply of weapons and personnel to the conflict it initiated in eastern Ukraine, and the illegal construction of a bridge connecting Russia with Crimea”.
The firm’s investments seen by the Sunday Mirror go back to the final financial quarter of 2017. Its holding in Transocean now stands at £371,000.
Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said it was “unacceptable that a Tory MP is making profits” from a company blamed for one of the world’s worst ecological disasters.
Green Party co-leader Sian Berry said: “This is just another example of dodgy politicians making money from investing in disaster capitalism.”
The revelations come days after Mr Rees-Mogg caused outrage when he suggested Grenfell Tower fire victims would have fled the burning building if they had used their common sense.
In 2017 the Sunday Mirror revealed the devout Catholic had made money from abortion pills, despite his belief abortion was wrong even if a woman was raped.
Mr Rees-Mogg defended the firm’s £5million stake in Indonesian company Kalbe Farma. He said: “It would be wrong to pretend I like it but the world is not always what you want it to be.”
Oliver Crawley, partner at Somerset Capital Management, said: “ Jacob Rees-Mogg is not involved with Somerset Capital Management’s business in any way, and he has had no role in the management of Somerset portfolios for over 10 years.”