The Sunday Telegraph reports that “the Liberal Democrats are facing an investigation into one of the party’s largest donors”. Part of the reports reads as follows:
The Electoral Commission has been asked to examine whether £775,000 paid to the Lib Dems by Rumi Verjee, the entrepreneur who brought Domino’s Pizzas to Britain, is an “impermissible donation”.
The payments were made through Brompton Capital Limited, a company with no staff that has not recorded a turnover since 2003.
Mr Verjee dined with Nick Clegg at Chevening, the grace and favour mansion in Kent used by the Lib Dem leader, a month after the second £250,000 donation was paid in May last year.
A Labour MP has written to the Electoral Commission urging the watchdog to investigate whether Brompton is a “permissible donor” and whether the Lib Dems carried out adequate checks when accepting the money.
…Last night the Lib Dems said Brompton’s donations complied with the law and that it carried out the appropriate checks. However, their defence raised fresh questions, as the party cited Brompton’s development of a London property early last decade as evidence it was an valid company.
“Brompton Capital’s donations to the Liberal Democrats have been fully checked by the party for permissibility and the company meets every requirement,” a party spokesman said.
“Each donation has also been fully checked for permissibility by the Electoral Commission. Brompton Capital is a permissible donor and any suggestion otherwise is completely untrue.
“It is a legitimate UK company which has undertaken major projects such as the development of the Old Brompton hospital, paying full UK tax.
“The company has sought numerous other development schemes in the UK and continues to do so. We are therefore satisfied that the company carries on a business in accordance with The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.”
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