Saturday, 20 November 2010

Unearthing JCB

In November 2001, William Hague took up the post of political and economic adviser to JCB, one of the UK's largest companies. JCB said Mr Hague had been employed for his political, economic and international expertise. Although he did not take up a seat on the company's board, JCB did not rule out the possibility of him taking business trips abroad. Hague was not employed for a fixed number of days but would be basically "on-call". The company at the time refused to confirm he would be paid £45,000 a year. [Source]

In June 2009, it was revealed in the published earnings of Cameron's shadow cabinet that JCB had paid £50,000 to Hague the previous year, in his role as non-executive director. That year JCB announced it would lay off hundreds of workers. In total that year, shadow foreign secretary Hague earned about £230,000 from after-dinner speeches, advice to private companies and writing books – in addition to his £65,000 MP's wage. Mr Hague said he would be leaving JCB after one more board meeting. [Source]

On 9th November this year, David Cameron arrived in China with the largest British trade delegation ever to visit the country. Cameron, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and other ministers were joined by 50 British business and education leaders as part of a drive to increase trade between the two countries. One of these was Sir Anthony Bamford, chairman of JCB, who was named as one of the Coalition's new British Business Ambassadors. Cameron also recommended Bamford for a peerage, however this was turned down by the House of Lords authorities due to concerns regarding Bamford's taxes. He is one of the largest donors to the Conservative Party. [Source]

Yesterday, JCB announced an order for 236 machines for the British Army. The contract is their "largest order for machines for the British Army in more than 25 years." They will deliver 138 backhoe loaders and 98 wheel loading shovels, with Nato paint work and storage for weapons. The loaders are made at JCB's Rocester headquarters and the wheeled loading shovels at JCB Earthmovers in Cheadle.

JCB chief executive Alan Blake said: "JCB has now become the primary supplier of plant and mechanical handling equipment to the British Army. As a British company it is fantastic that we have been awarded the opportunity to support our armed forces in this way and help ensure they are successful on operations, training and in their many other tasks around the world." [Source]