Monday, October 02, 2006

Cameron defends secretive Midlands Industrial Council in C4 interview

David Cameron has tonight dodged direct questions about the Lincolnshire-based Midlands Industrial Council which has given almost £1 million to fund the Conservatives which I posted on earlier today here and here.

Appearing on Channel Four news, Chameleon Dave denied any knowledge of the millions of pounds in loans to the Tories when he was running Michael Howard’s General Election campaign last year.

He went onto claim he now had a plan to “clean up politics” and the first step would be maximum individual donations of, say £50,000 and limited state funding of political parties.

Transparency is what’s needed, says David Cameron who went on to claim that he had delivered transparency on donations to the Tories since he had been Leader….

Interviewer Jon Snow wasn’t going to let that one go...

Where’s the transparency at the Midland Industrial Council, which has funded the Tories under Cameron, including donations to Cameron's own constituency campaign asked Snow.

“If MIC is transparent,” he asked Mr Dave, “why is it not possible for me to find out where MIC’s money comes from?”

Mr Dave blustered that the Electoral Commission have given MIC a clean bill of health and that under his plan they wouldn't be able to give more than £50,000 - not the almost £1 million they have given recently.

Besides, he argued, the MIC don't just give to the Tory Party but also to political think-tanks.

Jon Snow accused the Tories of looking “murky” over the ownership of Tory HQ in London apparently owned by an off-shore company in the British Virgin Islands which hasn’t paid stamp duty on the deal.

With their record, the Tories have a brass neck talking about "cleaning up politics".

Let's not forget that Labour under Tony Blair was the first government to take action to clean up the funding of political parties and bring in transparency. The Tories fought to keep party funding cloaked in a veil of secrecy

They still refuse to reveal where their massive slush funds came from to bankroll their 1987 and 1992 election campaigns which kept them in office way beyond their sell-by date.

If Mr Dave wants to demonstrate transparency, open up MIC's books without delay.

2 comments:

Brynley said...

Hi Phil.

The offshore ownership of Tory HQ looks bad. But isn't the Inland Revenue up to the same perfectly legal dodge with its own real estate?

To say that Tony Blair introduced transparency in party funding is true.

What you don't say is that "loans" were then engineered to get round the new rules.

I believe the police are investigating.

Joe Jones said...

"Let's not forget that Labour under Tony Blair was the first government to take action to clean up the funding of political parties and bring in transparency. The Tories fought to keep party funding cloaked in a veil of secrecy"
This doesn't look so clever anymore, does it?