Tory Party in the midst of donor access claim
Peter Cruddas, co-treasurer of the Conservative Party, has handed in his resignation letter after secretly-filmed footage revealed him offering private meetings with the prime minister in return for a £250,000 donation a year.
The video shows Mr Cruddas describing the meeting as “premier league” stating that “£100,000 is not premier league” while more than “£200,000 is premier league”.
The so-called premier league sum would allow the donor to attend a dinner party with the prime minister and the chancellor as Peter Cruddas boasts of the flow of confidential information at the meeting. He also alleged: “When you see the Prime Minister, you are seeing David Cameron; you are not seeing the Prime Minister”.
Following the release of the recording the party launched an immediate review into Mr Cruddas’ future and stressed their lack of knowledge about any claims, reassuring the public that no such offer had ever been accepted and the party always abode by the electoral law.
A spokesman said: “No donation was ever accepted or even formally considered by the Conservative Party. All donations to the Conservative Party have to comply with the requirements of electoral law. These are strictly enforced by our compliance department.
“Unlike the Labour Party, where union donations are traded for party policies, donations to the Conservative Party do not buy party or government policy. We will urgently investigate any evidence to the contrary.”
Amid the scandal Mr Cruddas handed in his resignation letter and provided a statement saying: “Clearly there is no question of donors being able to influence policy or gain undue access to politicians. Specifically, it was categorically not the case that I could offer, or that David Cameron would consider, any access as a result of donation. Similarly, I have never knowingly even met anyone from the Number 10 policy unit. But in order to make that clear beyond doubt, I have regrettably decided to resign with immediate effect.”