Master of the Merchant Venturers on whether they are an all powerful elite club, or just charitable business people


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The Society of Merchant Venturers often gets talked about in

conspiratorial tones. Forced into the limelight by the toppling of

Colston, the Merchants have come under greater scrutiny for past and

present practices. According to the Society, they are opening up more to

the public, confronting their history and diversifying their membership.

They say that far from controlling the city they are just successful

professionals who donate time, skills and money to worthy causes. But

along with relatively low profile members, they also count some of the

city's biggest corporate big-whigs, controversial bosses, Conservative

Party donors and a leading climate change denier. Why does the Society

still exist and what are the roles it plays in the city today?

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