William Hague helped two oil companies in tax row in Uganda

Posted February 11, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Business ~ 2,920 views


By Greig Box-Turnbull, Daily Mirror | WILLIAM Hague stepped in to help two oil companies, headed by Tory Party donors, who were refusing to pay tax to Uganda.

The Foreign Secretary and fellow Tory Henry Bellingham “lobbied strongly” for Tullow Oil which was in a wrangle over a £175million unpaid tax bill. Mr Hague called the Ugandan president and the situation was made a high priority in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Last month, Tullow Oil announced it would not have to pay the tax bill and is due to start extracting millions of barrels of oil from Uganda. The row started when Heritage Oil sold assets in Uganda to Tullow Oil last year for £870million. The Ugandan government said Heritage Oil owed £250million in tax. It paid £75million, but £175million is still disputed.

Aidan Heavey, the chief ­executive of Tullow Oil, donated £10,000 to the Tories before the general election.

Tony Buckingham, boss of Heritage Oil, also donated £50,000 to the party. After visting the African nation, Foreign Office minister Mr Bellingham emailed Mr Hague: “Tullow Oil have hit serious problems which threaten their investment in Uganda.

“Recommendation that we intervene urgently at ministerial level with President Museveni.”
The revelations come after it emerged earlier this week that David Cameron receives more than half of his donations from city financiers. There are strict rules covering party donations and ministerial involvement.

Tullow Oil said the Foreign Office’s involvement was “entirely consistent with UK Government policy”. A spokesman added: “Tullow has operated in Africa for over 20 years and has had excellent support from the FCO throughout Africa since then.”
A Tory spokesman said neither Mr Hague or Mr Bellingham knew the two oil bosses were Party donors. He added: “It is part of the Government’s duty to support British business and British citizens abroad. This case is no different from any other in which a British company seeks assistance.”

Article Source:

About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


Be the first to comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.