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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Financing the Tories

The Guardian reports that David Cameron is facing pressure to explain whether the Conservatives have complied with the spirit of electoral law after the party accepted £100,000 from the British wing of a company controlled by a multibillionaire Lebanese former arms dealer.

They say that the party accepted two donations of £50,000 from the British arm of Future Pipe Industries, controlled by Fouad Makhzoumi, an ally of the disgraced former Conservative cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken. Future Pipe Ltd donated £50,000 to the Tories one month before the 2005 general election. A second donation for the same amount was made in August:

The Tories said the donations were legal. A spokesman said: "Our compliance unit applies two strict tests to all company donations in accordance with Electoral Commission guidance. They are: is the company UK-registered and is the company carrying on business in the UK? These donations met those tests and were therefore legal and permissible."

Of course all parties have gone through this sort of controversy and will continue to do so whilst the rules on donations remains as they do. The fact is that many donors believe that they can buy influence and whilst parties rely on them for funds then they will continue to operate in that belief.

The state funding of political parties may not be popular but at least it would reduce the reliance on donors considered to be involved in unethical activities and bring greater transparency to the political process.
your looking for some geezer to give the lib dem some dosh!!!
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