Just Stop Oil donations blow as tycoon gives cash to Labour

Eco magnate Dale Vince took part in Just Stop Oil's slow marches through London this summer

Activists from Just Stop Oil take part in a slow march in Westminster earlier this year. Getty Images
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Green industrialist Dale Vince has announced he will stop funding direct action climate groups such as Just Stop Oil to instead put cash towards Labour’s campaign ahead of the next general election.

He has previously admitted giving “hundreds of thousands” of pounds to Just Stop Oil, having supported the group since it was founded in February last year.

The eco tycoon’s wind farm company, Ecotricity Ltd, has turned him into one of the UK’s wealthiest businessmen, worth £100 million ($121.6 million).

Mr Vince in April told talkSPORT radio: “If Labour wins, Just Stop Oil will no longer need to exist.”

Over the summer he joined protesters from the group in so-called slow marches through the streets of central London.

About 160 activists blocked traffic in 16 locations across the capital, causing delays and some angry responses from members of the public.

Just Stop Oil protesters halt Les Miserables performance

Just Stop Oil protesters halt Les Miserables performance

Just Stop Oil said the aim was to publicly demand an end to all new oil and gas projects.

Writing in The Guardian about his decision to pull funding, Mr Vince said even though he was still “comfortable with their methods”, Just Stop Oil’s tactics had not worked fast enough and it was time to adopt a new strategy.

He said the next general election, expected next year, would be the “most important of my lifetime, perhaps any of our lifetimes” and the Conservatives’ “relentless damage to our economy and our environment” must be reversed.

To do so, a new approach is needed, he argued.

“That’s why rather than fund protest, I’m going to concentrate my support wholeheartedly on the British electorate voting the Conservative government out of power at the next election,” he said.

He added that Labour was the only party “realistically equipped to reverse the current regime’s most damaging policies”.

He said Keir Starmer’s opposition had shown their commitment to turning back the tide of Tory policies and “embrace vital tenets of the green economy”.

Mr Vince started his renewable energy empire in 1996 and by 2017 Ecotricity was providing power from 75 windmills to 117,000 homes.

The businessman on Friday posted a message on X, formerly Twitter, calling for an immediate general election.

He criticised Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for cancelling the northern leg of the HS2 railway and hit out at Liz Truss's disastrous mini-budget.

"HS2 has been cancelled due to Tory incompetence, not some bigger event beyond their control," he said.

"The really tough – but good for the country long-term – decision Rishi Sunak needs to make is to call an election. Now."

Updated: October 06, 2023, 6:43 PM