In the first three months of the year, the Tories raked in £3,680,000 from just 220 separate donors. Between October and December last year, the donations totalled £7,447,000 from 230 donors.
These are eye-watering sums.
The Tories’ continued reliance on huge donations from the rich and powerful stinks. They are the party, and government, of the rich, for the rich and by the rich.
But big money should not ride roughshod over our democracy. We can never restore trust in how our country is run if certain people are perceived to buy influence. Only a fair and level playing field can underpin a democratic system.
The Tories’ donors included Putin’s ex Finance Minister’s wife who won an exclusive dinner with Theresa May after bidding £135,000. Members of the public would be right to question why a Russian oligarch is allowed such access when most ordinary people in Britain do not.
It is clear that the Conservative Party needs to clean up its act on where they get their money from.
With Theresa May on her way out, all of the leadership candidates must come forward and make clear they won’t accept cash from Russian oligarchs.
Jon Trickett MP