David Cameron’s dodgy money

David Cameron was asked during PMQs today whether or not he would continue hosting dinners at Downing Street with a man named Ian Taylor. He was also urged to return the money Mr Taylor has donated to the Conservative Party.

David Cameron PMQs

David Cameron was asked during PMQs today whether or not he would continue hosting dinners at Downing Street with a man named Ian Taylor. He was also asked whether he would be giving back money the same Mr Taylor had donated to the Tory Party.

Mr Cameron gave a curt response, accusing the MP who asked the question – Angus Robertson of the SNP – of playing a “cheap political card”.

So just who is Ian Taylor?

Well first off he is the president and chief executive of the world’s largest oil trader, Vitol, and he has been involved in the oil business for more than 30 years. Since June 2006 he has donated £555,100 to the Tory party. He also dined with David Cameron at Downing Street on 2 November 2011.

In 2001, The Observer revealed that Vitol paid £1 million to Serbian war criminal Željko Ražnatović (better known as Arkan) to arrange an oil deal with the regime of Slobodan Milosevic. For its part Vitol said no illegal conduct was involved in this transaction. According to the the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Arkan was responsible for at least 24 crimes against humanity, including the murder of civilians, rape and ethnic cleansing.

According to Herald Scotland, Vitol, the company which Ian Taylor head, has also in the past used Employee Benefit Trusts to avoid tax on the incomes of its UK staff and has been in discussion with HMRC about a deal to pay this off.

Is it really acceptable for Mr Cameron to dismiss concerns about donations from someone whose company had a relationship with one of Serbia’s most notorious war criminals in so blase a manner?

64 Responses to “David Cameron’s dodgy money”

  1. Iain S

    I could mention the work I’ve done with teenagers having sexuality issues. And my stint on Switchboard.

    I still don’t think ‘gay-baiting’ is on a moral par with war atrocities though, and I think I should be allowed to say that without accusations of homophobia.

    I do find it strange how accusations of homophobia can be played like a trump card in an online argument. It’s too often used to close down a debate as there is no defence when we’re all strangers online.

    You asked me questions – I answered them. So easy to ask before jumping to the accusations.

  2. Mary Lockhart

    Is this the same Ian Taylor who is bank rolling the Better Together campaign in Scotland?

  3. Mary Lockhart

    Is this the same Ian Taylor who is bank rolling the Better Together campaign in Scotland?

  4. Richas

    You falsely accused of gay baiting, Taylor falsely accused of being a war criminal.

    Me I never accused you of anything, i asked you to clarify your position on clause 28 and gay marriage, which you did and thank you for that. we seem to agree on section 28 and equal marriage.

    meanwhile you again imply something about someone being a war criminal. well Arkan was accused, there is lots of evidence against him but he was murdered before he was indicted never mind convicted. Meanwhile nobody else involved in this discussion was even accused of being a war criminal.

  5. Iain S

    I wasn’t looking to start the argument up again, but…

    I never accused Taylor of being a war criminal, as I explained above, I thought it obvious I was talking about Arkan. If you seriously think otherwise you’re an idiot.

    I never said that you accused me. I said that you asked me questions which I answered.

    No. I brought up something about morality there and of accusations of homophobia being used to close down debates.

    You’re being deliberately pedantic about Arkan. It’s widely accepted that he was a war criminal. I really hate to say it, but, Hitler died before he could be put in the dock too. No one would suggest that he was innocent. To suggest that Arkan isn’t culpable for the atrocities he committed because he wasn’t tried in a court does his victims a disservice.

  6. Cole

    We all know no Tory donor has ever been given a peerage.

  7. OldLb

    Exactly.

    However, we have people implying here that to give a peerage by a Tory government is corrupt, but if you give money and make sure your candidates are on the list, like the Unions, its all OK.

    Wake up. It’s all corrupt.

  8. Alec

    You’re a day late, Mary. The fun’s been had.

    ~alec

  9. Alec

    In passing, with the caveat that you weren’t in the SNP so didn’t feel they spoke for you. You were much more animated about Labour, BT and the Tories; despite presumably not supporting one of them. You were not being consistent.

    And for the umpteenth time, you were not being asked to choose between Souter and Taylor. You made a comment for which one reasonable interpretation was setting-up just such a zero sum game. You were asked for clarification. You were asked for clarification. You were asked for clarification. You were asked again.

    You dug in your heels and kept repeating the original comment. You were hiding something, or you were churlishly declining to acquiesce to a basic rule of argument of openness so, when you e-e-e-e-e-ventually answered, you could say “ha-ha, you were wrong”.

    No, you were being purposefully obtuse.

    Now, as Richas has offered a convincing deconstruction of the Taylor/Vitol story, you’ve changed your line to any donation from a Tory is proof positive of bad intent and the original claims (even if a convincing refutation has been offered).

    You are moving the goal posts.

    If you want to support independence and give yourself a Get Out of Gaol Free card with regards to any unsavory aspects to the Party and popular campaign which are leading it – whilst demanding purity tests from everyone else – then that’s your perogative.

    Others will make their judgement on your motivations, though.

    ~alec

  10. Alec

    Did I say you were a better Together spokesperson?

    Oh, just stop it. You spent all yesterday evening saying that I was a credulous supporter of BT not to mention a right-winger (cf. something you disagree with).

    You might think this sophistry is impressing me. It aint.

    ~alec

  11. uglyfatbloke

    Of course it is right for Better Together to take his money…it was only ‘dirty’ when it was being given to the Tories.

  12. Alec

    Heads-up, UFB… there’s a long, drawn-out discussion about just that. Are you reading the comments, or have you been summoned to snipe from the sidelines?

    ~alec

  13. Alec

    Now, I know you’re not reading the comments, Dave. Especially Richas’.

    Gads, I’d forgotten just how weird Cybernats were.

    ~alec

  14. mikeknoth

    same old Tories rotten to the core

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