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So-called “independent” think tanks, e.g Britain’s Policy Exchange, paid to favour companies –

Times 12th May 2018 , Independent think tanks are being paid by companies to write policy reports
and to gain access to senior politicians. In the past year leading charitable think tanks have earned millions of pounds from private organisations that want to have influence in Whitehall, research by The Times has found.

The think tanks have commissioned research and published reports in areas of interest to their corporate sponsors and arranged events to discuss them with politicians. Some, such as Policy Exchange, have refused to publish details of their funders. One senior figure at a think tank said that the arrangement allowed companies to “launder their interests” through independent groups with close links to officials.

All the reports seen by this newspaper drew conclusions favourable to the companies concerned. Policy Exchange published a report calling on ministers to invest in small nuclear reactors. The report was funded by Rolls-Royce, the British engineering company that has significant investment in the technology, but this was not stated in the report.

Instead the acknowledgment section thanked “Rolls-Royce for its support of the Energy and Environment Unit”. It did not disclose the funding or the possible conflict of interest. Rolls-Royce said: “While Rolls-Royce funded the report on SMRs [the reactors], the independent research was conducted by Policy Exchange and we categorically had no influence.”


May 14, 2018 - Posted by | spinbuster, UK

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