Thursday, July 24, 2014

Do Any Of These Individuals Represent You?

A list of billionaires, bankers and lobbyists who received £12,000-a-table access to David Cameron and other senior Cabinet ministers was published for the first time last night.
The documents revealed that almost 450 attendees at last summer’s glittering Tory fundraising dinner had a combined wealth of more than £11billion.
They sat at tables costing up to £12,000 each alongside Mr Cameron, Home Secretary Theresa May, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

It is not known how much was raised from the 2013 event, but Electoral Commission figures show that since the ball, those present have donated £5million to the Conservatives.
Of this, £1.1million was registered in the week after the event. Table sales raised at least £250,000, with cheaper tickets going for £400.
The guest list for the private event last summer at Old Billingsgate Market in Central London included six billionaires and 15 people with a personal wealth above £100million.
Documents seen by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism showed there were 73 financiers, 47 retail and property tycoons, ten people in oil, gas and mining and 19 attendees working in public affairs and PR.
One guest was Vladimir Putin’s judo partner Vasily Shestakov, who was introduced to the Prime Minister. The Russian president’s aide had the job of improving Russia’s reputation in the UK.
The revelation will give further ammunition to Labour, which wants to paint the Conservatives as the party of the rich.
The Tory fundraising dinner is an annual event and this year’s will be held next Wednesday at the Hurlingham private members’ club in West London.

The main sponsor was Shore Capital, an investment bank led by Howard Shore, who has donated £450,000 to the Conservatives personally and through his companies.

He booked three ‘premier tables’ and on one hosted David and Samantha Cameron. The table also included investor Nicolas Berggruen, Slovenian tycoon Darko Horvat and property magnate Sir John Ritblat.
Mr Shore’s company told The Guardian: ‘Shore Capital supported the event and made a financial contribution, as they believe that the Conservative Party, led by the Prime Minister, are the best party to govern the country.’

Alistair Graham, the former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said: ‘These events are not transparent at all.
‘They are made to be private, cosy affairs where you pay for attention from a senior political figure and if you are seeking to influence the government you might have the opportunity to do so.
‘We are vulnerable as a country to people getting private access to ministers for not too much money.’
A Tory spokesman said: ‘All donations to the Conservative Party are properly and transparently declared to the Electoral Commission, published by them, and  comply fully with Electoral Commission rules.’

Mr Johnson shared a table with Andrei Borodin, an exiled Russian banker who is wanted by the Kremlin to face charges of ‘aggravated swindling’ over an alleged £220million bank fraud.
Mrs May was placed with Lord De La Warr, director of Cluff Natural Resources which is exploring a process called coal gasification in Warwickshire.
Mr Hammond shared a table with the Saudi Arabian head of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce, Afnan Al-Shuaiby, and the table was paid for by Lord Clanwilliam, a PR adviser who works for the government of Bahrain, which has faced criticism of its human rights record.
Paul Staines, who runs the Guido Fawkes website, was sat at a table with Sir Michael Hintze, a top Tory donor and manager of hedge fund CQS. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles shared a table with nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow. Sir Michael has donated £3,181,473 to the Tories, while Mr Shore has given £499,330 and Mr Stringfellow  £39,340.

Jon Ashworth, Labour’s spokesman for the Cabinet Office, said: ‘These reports further lift the lid on a Party which is bankrolled by and stands up for a privileged few.
‘The Tories did all they could to keep this list secret and now we know why. It shows a party reliant on a select group of super-rich donors – the same group who’ve been given a tax cut by David Cameron’s Government while everyone else pays more.’

from here with thanks to for the link

No comments: