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This week in Tortoise – Greg Barker: the lord’s work

This week in Tortoise – Greg Barker: the lord’s work

Paul Caruana Galizia’s last investigation into Londongrad was Evgeny Lebedev: Lord of Siberia

Afterwards, he said he’d left a question hanging: not how did he do it, but who helped him. And not just Lord Lebedev. Who opened the doors to so many Russian oligarchs? What deal did the UK do with itself to offer them a safe haven for their wealth and a high-society welcome regardless of the origins of their money, not to mention Russia’s record in Crimea, Georgia, Syria and the US elections? What deal did the enablers do with themselves? 

In trying to answer those questions, Paul this week examines Lord Barker, arguably the most adroit and successful enabler of them all. 

Greg Barker was once a climate envoy in David Cameron’s government. After he left government and took up a seat in the House of Lords, he became chairman of Oleg Deripaska’s giant aluminium company. Months later, the US sanctioned the Russian oligarch over allegations of money laundering, extortion, racketeering, conspiracy to murder and organised crime. Lord Barker struck a deal to steer the company through the US sanctions regime – a deal that reduced Deripaska’s stake, satisfied Washington, kept the smelters firing and earned himself a personal fortune. This week’s Slow Newscast is Greg Barker: the lord’s work

I hope you’ll keep looking to the Daily Sensemaker email to offer perspective and clear thinking on what’s happening in Ukraine and the consequences, everywhere, of Russia’s invasion. This week, we’ll keep up our focus on war crimes and what’s needed to pursue their perpetrators.

Our ThinkIns this week are closer to home:

We’ll be closing the doors of our newsroom on Thursday for the Easter weekend, but will be back next week with some very special guests. Next Tuesday we’re speaking to playwright Jez Butterworth on the story behind the best British play ever: Jerusalem. And then next Wednesday we’ll be chatting to Will Young about how we can be happier.

As ever, we’re better for learning what you think. Hope you’ll join us.


James Harding
Editor & co-founder