DueDil data sheds light on UK politicians’ corporate interests

26 May 2016 Norval Scott

DueDil has teamed up with investigative journalist Martin Williams to shed light on the financial interests of British politicians in a new book.

DueDil supplied Mr Williams with information that helped show the company directorships held by British politicians – whether or not they are publicly declared on the official Register of Members’ Financial Interests.

The findings are revealed in a new book, “Parliament Ltd: A journey to the dark heart of British politics”, published May 26 by Hodder & Stoughton.

a journey to the dark hearts of british politics book

How we did it

In order to understand the extent of politicians’ corporate holdings, Mr. Williams – who has written for the Guardian and Private Eye – asked DueDil to compile a dataset listing every UK company directed by an MP or Member of the House of Lords.

DueDil compiled the information through its comprehensive data-matching expertise. Our data scientists used the DueDil tool to cross-reference specific names – including different spellings and aliases – with known UK company directors, producing an accurate list of companies linked to politicians.

As a result, DueDil identified nearly 2,800 active directorships held by Parliamentarians in the House of Commons and House of Lords, relating to a total of 2,500 companies – responsible for employing millions of people in the UK.

An analysis of the data by Mr. Williams showed that around 43% of the directorships discovered by DueDil had not been fully declared. Another 6% were only partially declared, and another 3% were declared with major errors, such as incorrect spelling of company names.

Mr. Williams said: “Until now, it has been virtually impossible to show the extent to which MPs have power over the UK economy. DueDil’s analysis means that for the first time, a clear picture of the influence held by politicians can be revealed – enabling us to understand exactly what their interests are and who they do business with. And thanks to companies like DueDil, politics will gradually be dragged into the twenty-first century, with more transparency and open data.”

To discover information about the companies you care about – and the people who run them – get started with DueDil today.