Friday, December 7, 2007

Just in case the Tories get too excited about donorgate...

Private Eye has a timely reminder that the Tories manage to use Lord Ashcroft's luxury jet for overseas journies due a loophole which was intended to allow MPs to be given overseas travel facilities by foreign universities or Chambers of Commerce etc. The company which loans the jet is Flying Lion Ltd, registered in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Donations from overseas sources are generally prohibited under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA). But the Tories have exploited the loophole to receive around £500,000 worth of travel in recent years.

Bizarrely, if Cameron used the jet to fly from London to Edinburgh it would not be allowed, but flying abroad is allowed.

And Private Eye's "Number crunching" provides further pause for Tory thought:

£950 - Donation illegally received by Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander from businessman based in Jersey who cannot vote in UK

£37,000,000 - Donations legally received by Conservative party from Michael Ashcroft, a businessman based in Belize who can vote in UK

Makes you think, don't it?

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