A wealthy Tory MP is facing demands to pay reparations for his family’s part in the Caribbean slave trade after the Observer revealed that he now controls the plantation where his ancestors created the first slave-worked sugar plantation in the British empire almost 400 years ago.
Sir Hilary Beckles, a prominent Barbadian historian of slavery, said Drax must acknowledge the wealth brought to the family by slavery. “If Richard Drax was in front of me now, I would say: ‘Mr Drax, the people of Barbados and Jamaica are entitled to reparatory justice.’”
Like many of his ancestors, Drax is a Dorset MP and is probably the wealthiest landowner in the House of Commons, with 5,600 hectares of farmland and woodlands. The estate’s finances are largely opaque to the public gaze and involve at least six trusts and other disconnected financial entities.