Friday, May 16, 2008

Exposed: Vested interests who secretly bankroll Cameron team...

David Cameron's front bench team has been exposed after attempting to cover-up potential conflicts of interests over donations.

Grant Shapps, Tory housing spokesman has received tens of thousands of pounds of cash to run his office from five different companies - all with vested interests in, er...housing.

Two online mortgage brokers, an estate agent, a commercial property developer and solicitors specialising in conveyancing and remortgaging all give money to fund the office of David Cameron's housing spokesman.

Andrew Lansley, Cameron's health spokesman has taken funds to run his office from a company that runs two secure children's homes as well as the owner of the largest manufacturer of NHS beds.

Jeremy Hunt, Cameron's spokesman on tourism, has received funds for his office from the chairman of the Conservative Tourism Taskforce and former chairman of the British Tourist Authority.

And Rutland MP Alan Duncan, Cameron's spokesman on business, enterprise and regulatory reform, gets cash for his office from the president and chief executive of an oil company!

These are just examples of a secret web of Tory donors uncovered in the official investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner into complaints against George Osborne, Cameron's Shadow Chancellor which I reported on HERE.

The Commissioner ruled that Osborne himself failed to declare almost half a million pounds from donors to run his office which had been channelled through general Conservative party funds but earmarked for his use.

Finding that Osborne broke the rules, the Commissioner has ordered every member of the Tory frontbench to disclose who funds their offices.

David Cameron talks a good game on transparency in politics, but the actions of his would-be Cabinet tell a different story.

Now the hypocrisy of Cameron's team has been officially exposed, he must come clean and publish without delay a full list of exactly is buying influence in his Party...

Breath-taking Quote of the Day came from George Osborne, Cameron's Shadow Chancellor. After being found guilty of breaking the rules he had the brass neck to say:

'I am glad that the rules have now been clarified and I will of course continue to adhere to them.'
Same Old Tories, eh?

10 comments:

Evan Price said...

Nice that you choose to ignore this bit ...

"However he concluded that it would not be "fair and reasonable" to criticise Osborne over the failure, as party chiefs had sought official advice on the issue and "acted in good faith" in interpreting it.

It was "a story of misunderstandings, of discussions held at cross purposes, of the misinterpretation of conversations and emails", he said."

fairdealphil said...

Thanks Evan...Seems wee Georgie broke the rules 'but not as he or Tory Central Office interpreted them...'

btw, I also missed this bit too:

"Mr Lyon, the Standards Commissioner, also upheld the complaint against Mr Osborne for failing to declare the £487,000 secretly given to him by some of Britain's richest people - including hedge fund managers and bankers with an interest in future Tory tax and economic policies."

inevitably, my blog is one view, one snapshot written as the story was breaking.

here's a link to another, perhaps more considered, view:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/topstories/2008/05/16/shadow-chancellor-george-osborne-s-500-000-secret-donations-89520-20419380/

Evan Price said...

I will wait until eternity for the day that the Mirror or any other red top gives a considered view on anything!

Of course its your view ... but 'fair' ... not a bit!

fairdealphil said...

evan

and yours is another view of course...!

you say i'm not fair...

so did wee georgie break the rules or not...??

and do you really think it's fair - or right - that the offices of 11 shadow front benchers have been secretly funded by companies with a vested interest in their portfolios...??

Evan Price said...

I agree that my view is different to yours ... but I don't claim to be 'fair'.

As to the breach of the rules, yes there was a breach, but the commissioner concluded that the acts were 'committed in good faith' and it would be wrong to criticise these individuals as they had tried to do the right thing - BTW, it is probably better to read the report than the press reports.

The problem is the absurd laws ... personally, I would go for transparency ... complete transparency ... and we'll have to see whether anything like that is proposed in the Autumn. If Labour propose something simple and clear, I will support it; but I doubt that it will.

If there is transparency, then it will be apparent who has funded the office of whom and then we can all make our own judgments based on that knowledge ...

fairdealphil said...

don't know if you think The Times or The Guardian are 'redtops' but i'd be interested to know if you think that they're reports are a 'fair' or 'considered':

'Eleven shadow ministers benefited from donors' 'secret' cash

'The scale of secret cash links between senior Conservatives and wealthy backers was revealed yesterday after George Osborne was told that he should have declared how his office was being funded. The Shadow Chancellor was the subject of a parliamentary investigation after it emerged that he failed to register almost £500,000 in donations. Donors had given the money to the Conservative Party but asked that it be used to bankroll Mr Osborne.

'Ten other Shadow Cabinet ministers have also been benefiting from money channelled from Tory headquarters, the final report of the investigation said.

'In at least two cases the funding was from figures involved directly in the minister's policy areas.

'The office of Grant Shapps, the Tory housing spokesman, is funded by donations from a number of mortgage brokers and Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, was bankrolled by a healthcare firm, the documents showed. Theresa Villiers, who has the transport brief but was previously Shadow Treasury Chief Secretary, benefited from donations by a number of investment bankers.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/may/15/conservatives.houseofcommons/print

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3941867.ece

take your pick.

Evan Price said...

Newspapers are not required to be 'fair' ... their prejudices and priorities tend to be known and most of the reports in the 'broadsheets' that I have read have reported the extracts of the commissioner's report that you chose to ignore in your original post ...

I merely pointed out your omission and expressed the view that 'fair deal phil' was not being 'fair' ...

fairdealphil said...

Evan,

You are of course entitled to your view, but I've re-read my original post and in my view, I have been totally fair.

I pointed out that wee Georgie had broken the rules, and made it clear - in the third paragraph -that the Standards Commissioner:

"...is taking no further action providing the the Tories correct the official register within four weeks."

The fact is the Tory secret methods of funding the offices of the Shadow Cabinet with vested interests has been exposed - thanks to the rules brought in by Labour.

Evan Price said...

"I have been totally fair" - we disagree ... there we are!

"The fact is the Tory secret methods of funding the offices of the Shadow Cabinet with vested interests has been exposed - thanks to the rules brought in by Labour."

My view is that if the Government had concentrated on transparency rather than on 'getting the Tories' then the 'secret methods' would not have happened ... in the Conservative party at least.

fairdealphil said...

Evan

we agree to disagree...glad we still live in a 'free' country!!

i do agree that the rules need homing. What we have is a first attempt at regulation where we had none before.

How did the Tories fund their 1992 General Election....we still don't know...answers on a postcard...!!