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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Buying a seat in Parliament

Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith has been accused of seeking to 'buy a seat in Parliament as if he were punting on a roulette wheel' today after it was revealed that he has spent more than a quarter of a million pounds of his own money on getting elected.

According to the Electoral Commission, Mr. Goldsmith has donated £260,000 to his local Tory Association since he was selected to fight the Richmond Park seat in 2007. Virtually all of the money goes to office staff and “office costs”.

The party says that Mr Goldsmith set up his own office in Richmond, separate to the local association's headquarters. The candidate employs two members of staff to help him campaign.

The Electoral Commission website also shows that Richmond Park Tories have received a further £50,000 in donations from the rich and famous. Sting's wife Trudie Styler, JCB founder Joseph Bamford, Aspinall's casino and Lady Victoria Getty have all donated sums, as have Mr Goldsmith's brother Ben and half-brother Robin Birley. A Tory party spokesman said: “Details of all our donations are reported to the Electoral Commission and are fully transparent.”

Liberal Democrat treasury spokesperson, Lord Oakeshott said: “Zac Goldsmith seems to think he can buy a seat in Parliament as if he were punting on a roulette wheel. £250,000 is £3.50 and counting for every voter in Richmond Park.”

This latest controversy comes shortly after calculations by Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson, Chris Huhne that Goldsmith's status as a non Dom means that he has managed to avoid paying around £580,000 a year in UK taxes over the past decade.
Could be worse, could have put an expenses claim in for a charatible donation of £20, TWICE!
Apart from the issue of buying seats (no need for Ashcroft) another one is `have full UK taxpayers subsidised the cost of Tory electioneering to buy a seat?`
What is money for, if not to throw around, if I had lots of dosh and needed something to do in the week because I was bored, or thought being an MP might mean like Blair I could make the money back if I could become the leader, why not. I look around the Tories and labour and I think to my self what have they got that a Chimp does not have, money.
I’m no legal brain but could the Tories be contravening the Curwen act of 1809 which was set up to kerb the blatant sale of parliamentary seats.
>>glynbeddau - try this:-

Mr John Lyon CB,
Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
House of Commons,
London SW1A 0AA

You will have to write to him, stating your complaint, in addition he won't accept anonomous complaints, so you've got to give your name and address (I did).
maybe you need a version of the Feinstein/McCain act?
sorry Feingold!
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