Credit: Neil Terry Photography
Credit: Neil Terry Photography

Every time the Electoral Commission release the latest batch of donations, there is a story to tell. It usually involves the Tories. This time, as the Independent reported, the Tories have taken £342,000 from the wife of an arms fixer involved in a multibillion pound arms deal with Saudi Arabia in the 1980s.

Money linked to arms deals has no place in politics, but yet again the Tories have shown themselves willing to take large cash handouts from the rich and powerful, with almost no exceptions.

The fact of the matter is that under the Tories our democracy has become flooded with money, much of it from unknown sources and other countries. With Theresa May on her way out, all of the Tory leadership candidates must come forward and make clear they won’t accept cash linked to arms deals. I won’t hold my breath.

There are many reasons why people donate to political parties, and I’m proud of the thousands of small contributions that Labour receives from our members and supporters.

But it’s true to say that there are some big money donors who give money with the hope of influencing politics, or securing some type of reward.

And as we’ve seen with the latest round of honours, there are a fair few Tory donors on the list.

I told the Mirror, that it’s fitting that the last act of a Prime Minister who only ever looked after herself and her wealthy backers and allies, is to dish out honours to Tory cronies and donors.

It’s a stitch-up, and the public know it.

Theresa May might be on the way out, but the Conservatives will always be a party paid for by the rich and powerful that look after the rich and powerful.

And that’s why I’m determined that Labour will tackle the influence of money in politics. We need to re-balance the scales in favour of the many – the very people who democracy is supposed to work for.

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