Neocons linked to Tea Party paid for Andrea Leadsom’s flights to US

(THE GUARDIAN) Jamie Doward,  July 10, 2016 — A controversial rightwing American lobbying group that denies climate change science and promotes gun ownership paid for the Tory prime ministerial hopeful Andrea Leadsom to fly to the United States to attend its conferences.

The American Legislative Exchange Council – Alec – is a neoconservative organisation with close links to members of the Tea Party movement. Championed by supporters of the free market, it has been attacked by critics for exerting a “powerful and undemocratic” influence on US politics.

It is part funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, David and Charles, whose empire spans mining, chemicals and finance. Leadsom’s links to the council will be scrutinised closely by those trying to gauge her political leanings.

In the US the council produces hundreds of putative bills that it seeks to have made into law by US legislators who attend its conferences, where they are treated to generous corporate hospitality at lavish cigar parties.

Alec has built a web of relationships with politicians around the world. In the UK these include the Ukip MEP Roger Helmer and the Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, who played a large part in the Vote Leave campaign.

The council, which promotes privatisation and seeks to curtail union power, is fiercely opposed to the European Union and regularly meets European politicians who seek to check the power of the union, fearing its ideas could spread across the Atlantic.

Source: Neocons linked to Tea Party paid for Andrea Leadsom’s flights to US | Politics | The Guardian