.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, June 04, 2021

Peer gives Tory party £500,000 days after taking seat in Lords

If anybody ever doubted the case for abolishing appointed peerages and creating an elected secodn chanber, the surely this story must dispel such misgivings. The Independent reports that a scandal-hit banker gifted the Tories half a million pounds after Boris Johnson gave him a seat in the House of Lords against official advice.

The paper says newly released Electoral Commission records record that three days after he was introduced in the Lords as a Tory peer Peter Cruddas handed £500,000 to Conservative central office:

Lord Cruddas, a former Tory treasurer, had been subject to objections from the Lords sleaze watchdog because of his role in a previous cash-for-access scandal.

In 2012 had stepped down from the role after the Sunday Times alleged that he had offered undercover reporters access to then prime minister David Cameron in exchange for £250,000 donations.

While he successfully sued the newspaper for libel, an appeal court found that the central allegations around cash for access was supported by the facts. Judges described the former Treasurer's actions as "unacceptable, inappropriate and wrong".

Lord Cruddas, a financier who was once named the richest man in the City of London, was estimated last year to be worth £860m and had previously given more than £3.5m to the party.

When the Prime Minister nominated Cruddas for a peerage, the House of Lords Appointments Commission said it was unable to support the appointment. Despite this Johnson ruled that the concerns about the former Tory official and banker were "historic", assuring the committee "that I see this case as a clear and rare exception". It is the first time the commission's advice had not been followed by a PM.

Surely reform is long overdue.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?