Ken Clarke denies Bilderberg is part of global conspiracy FT

Ken Clarke denies Bilderberg is part of global conspiracy

By George Parker

Ken Clarke, the UK cabinet veteran, on Monday denied that the Bilderberg Group of politicians, business leaders and opinion formers was part of a global conspiracy, claiming its members could “never agree” on any subject.

Mr Clarke, who attended a Bilderberg meeting at Watford last week, was summoned to the Commons by John Bercow, Speaker, to lift the lid on what exactly happened at the informal event.

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But the minister without portfolio laughed off Labour criticism, claiming that the attendees from the global elite were “not remotely interested in getting together to decide anything”.

Fleets of Mercedes cars with blacked out windows were sighted heading for the meeting in the Hertfordshire countryside last week, carrying the likes of George Osborne, chancellor; Ed Balls, shadow chancellor; and Lord Mandelson, former Labour business secretary.

Those coming from further afield included José Manuel Barroso, head of the European Commission; Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google; and Peter Sutherland, chairman of Goldman Sachs International.

Labour had hoped to embarrass Mr Osborne at the dispatch box, but instead they got 25 minutes of knockabout humour from Mr Clarke, a member of the Bilderberg steering committee for a decade.

Michael Meacher for Labour said: “Of course it’s not a conspiracy but, at the same time, 130 of the world’s biggest decision makers don’t travel thousands of miles simply for a cosy chat.” Mr Clarke said Mr Meacher should “find different people to exchange tweets with”.

The group’s meetings are held under “Chatham House rules” and are not reported on. They are intended to allow free-flowing discussion of big global events and economic trends.

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