Scotland politics

Remain campaign donor Ian Taylor requests exclusion from honours

Ian Taylor - REX FEATURES, BBC BUYOUT EXPIRES 17 APRIL 2018 Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption Mr Taylor gave money to the Better Together and Remain campaigns

Businessman Ian Taylor, who was reportedly in line for a knighthood in David Cameron's resignation honours list, has said he does not want his name to go forward.

The oil firm boss is a Conservative party donor and also made donations to the EU Remain campaign.

He also gave £500,000 to the Better Together campaign ahead of the Scottish independence referendum.

He featured on a list leaked to the Sunday Times newspaper.

But he has written to both Mr Cameron and his successor Theresa May asking for his name to be withdrawn from the list "if indeed I was being considered".

In a statement, Mr Taylor, the chief executive of Vitol, said: "In recent days, speculation in the media has suggested that I may be recognised in the forthcoming resignation honours list.

"This has been accompanied by seriously inaccurate comments about the company I lead.

"In these circumstances, I think it is right I request that my name does not go forward, if indeed I was being considered for an honour.

"I will, of course, be continuing to participate actively in all the causes that I and my family passionately believe in, notably broadening access to the arts for everyone."

The Sunday Times newspaper said the ex-PM had chosen to reward cabinet colleagues, donors and staff.

Mr Taylor, whose wealth was estimated at about £175m in 2015 in the Sunday Times Rich List, backed the Better Together campaign for Scotland to remain part of the UK in the 2014 referendum with £500,000.

The then first minister, Alex Salmond, called for the money to be paid back due to controversy about Vitol.

The firm was heavily fined by a New York court in 2007 after admitting making payments to the national oil company in Saddam Hussein's Iraq which were outside the remit of the UN's oil for food programme.

It was also reported to have paid $1m to a Serbian paramilitary group as part of an oil deal in the 1990s, although the company said it had not acted illegally.

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