Tag Archives: midlands industrial council

Politics, money and elections: what changes with the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009?

Cross-posted from The Wardman Wire:

The last year certainly hasn’t been a quiet one when it comes to controversies over how parties raise and spend money. Whilst the massive and long-running story of MPs’ expenses has rather overshadowed the previous stories, Royal Assent has just been given to the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009, which is intended to deal with the issues thrown up by those previous events.

New rules on political donations

The changes are intended both to reduce the administrative burden on volunteers such as local party treasurers but also to ensure that more information is revealed as to the actual sources of money received by parties or candidates.

Question over the actual origin of money given to parties have come up in the cases such as David Abrahams’s donations to Labour (where he provided money to intermediaries who then donated to Labour and whose names were those in the public donations records) and the Midlands Industrial Council (who took money from individuals and in turn made donations to Conservatives, but with the MIC being declared as the donor).

In future donations will have to be accompanied with a declaration as to the source of the money (dealing with the David Abrahams type situation). Unincorporated associations making donations of over £25,000 in a year will have to reveal the source of donations to themselves of more than £7,500 (dealing, at least in part, with the Midlands Industrial Council type situation, though that £7,500 is a fairly generous figure).

There has also been ongoing controversy over whether tax exiles and similar should be able to donate.

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Conservatives receive £1.4 million in anonymous donations

As the Daily Telegraph reports:

The Conservatives have received more than £500,000 from a “front company” that allows donors to remain anonymous, it has emerged … The payment of £530,000 from an organisation called Scottish Business Groups Focus on Scotland was the biggest single payment to the party in the last quarter of 2008, Electoral Commission records show … Focus on Scotland is an “unincorporated association”, a legal entity that does not have to publish accounts or other financial details. Since 2004, it has given £ 1,455,000

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Cameron stages photo op to publicise donor’s firm

As the Evening Standard reports:

David Cameron is being accused of rewarding Tory donors with free publicity.

The charge came after he went to the training centre for trucking firm Scania to publicise an announcement on new apprenticeships.

Scania’s UK distributor is businessman Chris Kelly, the deputy chairman of a donors group called the Midlands Industrial Council, which has given £561,780 to the Conservatives since MrCameron became leader. It is not the first time Mr Cameron has staged photo-opportunities at factories run by donors. On a trip to Sweden last year he visited a Scania factory.

In May 2006 he opened a

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Conservatives keep their funding secret – again

Today’s headlines have been caught by the massive debts run up by the Conservative and Labour parties.

Full marks in the irony department to Tory HQ for unveiling a website calling people in debt tossers just before the publication of figures showing their own huge debts.

Buried in the figures are a few interesting snippets, such as the Tory party’s reliance on a £3.6 million loan from an overseas company – and as it is based in the British Virgin Islands, it has to publish almost no information about its activities.

So once again they’ve been using a funding method which allows them to …

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BBC exposes Tory MP’s links to funding scandal

J KirkbrideThe role of the Midlands Industrial Council in funding Conservative party activity has been bubbling away as a controversy for some time.

In essence, by giving money to the MIC rather than directly to the Conservative party, it has allowed big donors to remain anonymous. The MIC in turn, after receiving these anonymous donations, funds Conservative campaigning. After public pressure, they’ve published a one-off list of their currently active members – but won’t say who else has given money in the past or that they’ll publish names of new donors in the …

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How green is your donor?

Colin Ross has been digging around the issue of the Midlands Industrial Council, a group of wealthy individuals who donate to the Conservative Party.

He has new revelations.

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