Scotland Yard urged to investigate Tory party’s ‘Cash For Honours’ row
Pressure is mounting on Scotland Yard to open an investigation into the Conservative party over the ‘cash for honours’ allegations. On Saturday, November 6, it was revealed how peerages have been given to more than a dozen donors of large amounts of money to the Tory party.
The Sunday Times and Open Democracy analysed Electoral Commission figures and discovered that apart from the most recent Conservative treasurer, all previous treasurers, after donating millions of pounds to the party, were allegedly offered seats in the House of Lords. As a result, opposition MPs are asking for a probe by the Met Police into these claims.
It has even been claimed that one former Tory party chairman said, “Once you pay your £3 million, you get your peerage”. One interesting fact that was uncovered was that once seated in the House of Lords, the last six treasurers-turned-peers donated less money.
George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, caused further controversy on Saturday evening when he spoke to Sky News about Owen Paterson, the disgraced former MP, where he called the row about him, “a storm in a teacup”. This has brought a fresh wave of anger from Conservative MPs upon Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
This is not the first time that such allegations have surfaced. Several arrests were made previously after investigations into peers who donated large sums to the Labour party, although no charges were ever brought. In Britain, to buy or sell an honour is a crime.
Jolyon Maugham QC, a prominent barrister asked, “Why are the police not investigating this? Why is Boris Johnson above the law?”, while Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, suggested that the allegations show that “Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party is corrupt, dodgy, sleazy and on the take”.
Pete Wishart, the SNP MP commented yesterday, Saturday 6, “It’s beyond all doubt that the honours system has been abused by the Tories. The Metropolitan Police should launch a fresh cash for honours investigation”, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.