More questions raised over Lord Ashcroft’s business empire

The business dealings of former Conservative Party Deputy Chairman and one of its biggest donors, Lord Ashcroft, are back in the news again.

As The Observer reports:

Fresh revelations have raised a series of questions about the links between the former Conservative deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft and a company responsible for luxury projects across a string of islands…

Who controlled Johnston International, which won building contracts across the Caribbean worth tens of millions of pounds, has triggered awkward questions for the Tories, and above all for their major donor, Lord Ashcroft.

The Tory peer, who has given the party more than £10m, is spending a small fortune on lawyers and spin doctors to deal with inquiries about his relationship with Johnston, whose interests before it collapsed with debts of $30m stretched across Belize, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The company, and its relationship with politicians in the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British overseas territory, plays a central role in a libel action being brought by Ashcroft against the Independent newspaper.

A BBC Panorama investigation, broadcast last Monday, suggested that the Tories’ former deputy chairman had misled the stock market about his links to the firm.

And now an investigation by a court-appointed liquidator into the relationship between Johnston’s parent company, a plethora of interlinked companies and Ashcroft’s British Caribbean Bank (BCB), is raising as many questions as it answers.

You can read about those questions in the full article.

* Mark Pack is Party President and Co-leader of the party. He is editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire.

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