Clarke Under Pressure to Quit British American Tobacco

Kenneth Clarke, a British Conservative Party leadership aspirant, is resisting calls to resign as non-executive deputy chairman of British American Tobacco (BAT) and chair of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee. Clarke's supporters have suggested he would resign the roles only if elected leader. The Observer reports that a BAT document from 2000 states "the process [of CSR] will not only help BAT achieve a position of recognised responsibility, but also provide 'air cover' from criticism while improvements are being made." Writing in the Guardian, George Monbiot argues that while not suggesting that Clarke had done anything illegal or in breach of the criminal code, he shouldn't be able to duck responsibility for BAT activities. "It seems to me that in a fair world - a world in which human life was valued by our legislators - he would not now be contemplating the leadership of Her Majesty's opposition. He would be behind bars," Monbiot wrote.