Port operator hires controversial MP

Chris Grayling Chris Grayling has been appointed by Hutchison Ports as an adviser. Photo: UK Parliament Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)
Industry Database

Chris Grayling has been appointed as an adviser to a major global port operator.

The Conservative Party MP, who served as Secretary of State for Transport from 2016 to 2019, has been appointed to the £100,000 adviser role by Hutchison Ports Europe.

Mr Grayling has previously been criticised for giving Seaborne Freight a £13.8m contract to run ferry services as part of Brexit plans, despite the company not having any vessels. The firm has recently gone into administration.

“We can confirm that Chris Grayling has been appointed as a Strategic Adviser to Hutchison Ports Europe following completion of the Acoba process,” Hutchison Ports told Port Strategy.

Hutchinson Ports declined to comment on the nature of the role or whether there will be any specific projects that Mr Grayling will be working on.

The Guardian said: “The appointment has been approved by a Whitehall watchdog despite it raising concerns of a “perceived risk” that it may give the firm an unfair advantage.”

Hutchinson Ports operates ports and terminals in 27 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia. In the UK, it operates Harwich International, London Thamesport and the Port of Felixstowe.

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