Osborne gift from City firm revealed

Left Foot Forward last week revealed how Tory links to hedge fund managers raised potential conflicts of interest with George Osborne’s widely trailed proposals to abolish the Financial Services Authority. Evidence unearthed today by Sam Coates on freebies accepted by Conservative MPs shows further connections between the Tory top command and City firms.

George Osborne accepted two tickets to attend the Conservative Party’s Black and White Party held on 4 February 2009 from Cavendish Corporate Finance, who market themselves as “leading independent specialist adviser to vendors of businesses.” Cavendish founder and managing partner, Howard Leigh, is the Conservative Party’s Senior Treasurer. Mr Leigh told The European Financial Review in April this year that:

“My main responsibility is looking for people who want to give money to the party. I never have to persuade people to give money to the party, its something they want to do but need guidance on the best way to do so … The Treasurer’s work and Cavendish are very complementary.

It was also revealed that Sanofi-Aventis – one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies– and its predecessor Avetis-Pharma Ltd bought tickets to the party for the staff of shadow health secretary, Andrew Lansley, and two other colleagues.

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