Unaoil

Attorney General written question – answered on 6th September 2022.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Attorney General

To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the meeting between her predecessor and Mr David Tinsley referred to in chapter 10, paragraph 5(h)-(i) of Sir David Calvert Smith's report into the Serious Fraud Office’s handling of the Unaoil Case, if she will set out (a) when, (b) where, (c) for what purpose that meeting took place and (d) whether it was declared in her Department's transparency publications for ministerial meetings or hospitality.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson The Solicitor-General

The then Attorney General (the Rt Hon member for Torridge and West Devon), met David Tinsley for 20 minutes in the waiting room of his barristers’ chambers on 18 October 2018, after an acquaintance requested that he meet informally with an unnamed contact with links to the US government about a matter affecting the public interest.

It transpired that Mr Tinsley wished to draw the then Attorney General’s attention to the value of his services and those of his company in facilitating a better working relationship between the English investigation and prosecution authorities and US authorities. The then Attorney General brought the meeting to an end, pointing out that he did not have responsibility for the issues Mr Tinsley had raised.

Neither the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into Unaoil, Mr Tinsley’s involvement in it, nor the defendants in that case or any other case, were raised in the meeting or discussed. The then Attorney General took no action in connection with the meeting and had no further contact with Mr Tinsley.

The meeting was not declared in the transparency returns for the Attorney General’s Office as the then Attorney General did not meet Mr Tinsley in his ministerial capacity.

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