Photo: Getty / Dan Kitwood
The UK’s Conservative (Tory) Party, and Prime Minister David Cameron in particular, has gone into damage-control mode following the expose of major Conservative Party fundraiser and co-treasurer Peter Cruddas, who claimed that donors could influence policy decisions with large contributions.
On Monday, Downing Street released a list of all donors who have had dinner with Cameron in his London apartment, claiming none of the dinners were paid for with taxpayer money, the BBC reports.
Details of all meals between Conservative donors and ministers will now be published on a quarterly basis, Cameron has announced. He has also announced an internal party investigation, but is facing growing pressure to set up an independent inquiry, according to The Telegraph.
Cruddas told undercover reporters from the Times of London, who secretly filmed him, that a £250,000 (about $400,000) donation would grant “Premier League” access to Cameron. Cruddas has since resigned his position, saying there was “no question of donors being able to influence policy or gain undue access to politicians”.
Downing Street has also denied that major donors influenced government policy. But Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office Minister, said people who make large donations (more than £50,000, about $80,000) to the Tories should expect access to the Prime Minister and senior party members.
labour leader Ed Miliband said the matter could not be “swept under the carpet”. The issue has already been reported to the Metropolitan Police, who could start a criminal inquiry, the Guardian reports.
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