Thursday, 4 March 2010

Sian Flynn admits receiving Ashcroft tax-free money

I blogged a few days ago asking if any of the Conservative candidates in Cornwall had received donations from Lord Ashcroft - the Tory donor who as apparently avoided paying more than £127 million in tax since he was made a peer by William Hague.

This morning I received my first answer.

Sian Flynn, the Surrey exile who is now Tory Candidate for North Cornwall, has replied saying that although she has not received any direct donations from Lord Ashcroft or his company...

"Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) offers financial support to candidates in marginal seats from a central fund, drawn from donations to the Party from thousands of individuals. Bearwood has contributed a tiny fraction of this fund."

(I would dispute that the £10 million that Ashcroft and Bearwood has donated is 'tiny').

Bearwood is currently under investigation by the Electoral Commission on suspicion of not being active in the UK at the time donations were made and therefore breaking strict donation laws. UPDATE - Bearwood has now been cleared over these allegations by the Commission.

I'm still waiting to hear from the other five candidates.


Jules said...

Isn't the figure more like £6m-ish, according to the BBC article you link to in another item.

Bearwood Corporate Services made a total of 173 donations to the Conservatives totalling £5.1m between February 2003 and December 2009, according to Electoral Commission figures.

This is in addition to £111,726 in personal donations made by Lord Ashcroft and £569,439 from his wife, Susan Anstey, over the same period.

Where do you get the other £4m from? I'm sure this decision will be a relief to the Tories, but not half as much as the relief to the LibDems when the Electoral Commission said they could keep £2.4m fraudster Michael Brown donated?

Alex Folkes said...

My understanding was that Ashcroft started giving in 2000 when he was made a peer and I understood that the total since then was around £10 million. But if I'm wrong then I apologise.

Anonymous said...

Instead of having to apologise all the time,why not do some research before you post,simples