Lord Ashcroft, the Conservatives and money

The Evening Standard reports today that three Conservative associations show in their accounts that they received donations from Lord Ashcroft (the controversial Conservative donor) but that these sums don’t appear in the lists of donations declared to the Electoral Commission.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that an Ashcroft donation to a constituency hasn’t been declared. The previous cases of undeclared donations involved a range of other Conservative local associations, including North Norfolk Conservatives, who received a donation when Iain Dale was their Parliamentary candidate.

All parties rely heavily on volunteer local treasurers, so some mistakes in book-keeping are to be expected and don’t signify sleaze or scandal. (I can think of a case, for example, where forms were returned late one time because the volunteer treasurer was hospitalised just before they were going to send them off.)

However, there does seem to be quite a widespread pattern here, across numerous different Conservative local associations. It’s not just one or two volunteers who made a mistake.

Moreover, this week’s New Statesman has a report into Ashcroft. It raises again the question of whether or not he kept his promise, on being appointed to the House of Lords, that he would become a UK resident and pay tax here. As their piece details, they can’t find evidence that he has, and both he and the Conservative Party won’t provide it either.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarFrank Booth 29th Jul - 9:42pm
    Paul Barker - I believe union members can opt out if they wish. On corporate donations, what do we actually know? Are there actually British...
  • User AvatarFrank Booth 29th Jul - 9:33pm
    Interesting that the membership is up. Does this tend to happen before general elections?And what is the profile of the new members? Old members who...
  • User AvatarPeter 29th Jul - 9:20pm
    Nick Tregoning. I think you owe someone an apology, perhaps your leader? Remember that Clegg thought it was 50% 11 years ago, so 75% today...
  • User AvatarPeter 29th Jul - 9:17pm
    Matthew, your turn as well.
  • User AvatarPeter 29th Jul - 9:14pm
    T-J You said, "Your number is plucked out of thin air, or possibly out of Nigel Farage’s mouth,". (For the benefit of others, the number...
  • User AvatarDavid Wright 29th Jul - 9:06pm
    Kath, you can see all political donations of over £2000 on the Electoral Commission web site; go to http://tinyurl.com/lubr63x For the most recent quarter, the...