A month ago, the Sunday Telegraph splashed on allegations by Labour MP Michael Dugher demanding the Electoral Commission investigate donations to the Lib Dems from Rumi Verjee via Brompton Capital Limited.
Well, the Electoral Commission has now investigated — and it’s given the donations the all-clear, and ruled out pursuing the matter any further:
“We have carefully considered whether there is sufficient reason to believe that a breach of PPERA may have taken place, and whether the matter warrants referral for a case review or investigation. Having done so, we do not consider it is appropriate for the Commission to pursue this matter further.”
Rumi Verjee, chairman of Brompton Capital, said.
“I am delighted with the Electoral Commission’s finding, which is as expected. I have been a UK taxpayer, doing business in the UK, for nearly 30 years and have been fortunate enough to have some success. That is why I am committed to giving something back to society. I see my donations to the Lib Dem leadership programme as a vital part of that philanthropic activity, which also includes working with the Clinton Foundation in Africa.”
The Lib Dem leadership programme is a key part of the party’s drive to increase the diversity of parliamentary candidates:
The Candidate Leadership Programme is designed specifically to identify, develop and support some of the best candidates from under-represented groups within the Party. The Programme contains 40 talented, motivated individuals who can demonstrate the combination of passion, drive and commitment that it takes to win a Parliamentary seat in the next General Election.
Update (24 Feb 2013): The Telegraph has updated its original story with the following clarification:
Rumi Verjee, the entrepreneur accused of making “hidden donations” to the Liberal Democrats through one of his companies, has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Electoral Commission. The party watchdog received a complaint from a Labour MP last year, but Mr Verjee’s £775,000 of gifts to the Lib Dems were found to comply with the law.