David Cameron is contiuning to keep secret his Downing Street dinner party guestlist today, as questions continue to mount over the "Cash for Cameron" scandal.
David Cameron is contiuning to keep secret his Downing Street dinner party guestlist today, as questions continue to mount over the “Cash for Cameron” scandal.
Labour stepped up the pressure this morning, and will try and force a minister to appear before Parliament today and explain why the Tory co-treasurer, Peter Cruddas, was recorded boasting of the access a donor could buy for £250,000 – and all this coming in the week the Tories unveiled their millionaire’s budget, with a headline cut in the top rate of tax.
Last night, Ed Miliband said:
“There needs to be a proper independent investigation into what influence was sought, what influence was gained and what impact it had.
“The independent investigation should look at what happened at the Downing Street policy unit, because apparently offers were made or cash was paid so that the people donating money would be able to have access to it. I think people are bound to ask questions about whether policy is being made in the national interest or the Conservative Party’s interest.
“That’s why these allegations are so serious.”
Tory minister Francis Maude, however, tried to brush the scandal off as “a bit of a nonsense” on the Today Programme, even going so far as to claim:
“We’ve always been very open… there’s no secret about it. You can join the leader’s group… The fact is that all prime ministerial meetings are disclosed… People will put forward ideas, whether they’re donors or not.
“What’s being alleged here is that you can buy influence, you can buy policy, and that’s simply not the case.”
That is to say, all meetings except those the government is attempting to keep secret – the dinners, held by the prime minister in Downing Street, “private suppers” in his “private space”, which he’s just so happened to spend £2 million of taxpayers’ money doing up.
• Who runs the Tory party – Cameron or his rich donors? 26 Nov 2010
• Party funding reform: Why the cap may not fit 18 Oct 2010
As the links above show, Tory reliance on the exceedingly rich, City fat cats, bankers and billionaires who’ll all benefit from George Osborne’s budget, comes as little surprise, and has been growing since David Cameron became leader. With each passing day, the impression that this is a Tory government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich becomes ever more entrenched.
And with it emerging today that one of those high up the “Premier Leauge” Tory donor list is Adrian Beecroft, who has proposed slashing workers’ rights – an idea enthusiastically backed by Cameron and Osborne – the idea the super rich can buy government policies with their cash, coming on top of the 50p tax cut, will become harder for the Tories to rebut.