Joan Edwards, a former nurse, stipulated in her will that the money should be paid to “whichever Government is in office at the date of my death”. Spin doctors from both parties insisted Miss Edwards had wanted them to have her money. One Tory source briefed: ‘This money was donated out of the blue. It was a bequest to the party of the government of the day.’ and others insisted Miss Edwards, who was 90 when she died, had bequeathed the money to ‘whichever party’ was in power when she died. But their claim unravelled spectacularly when the Daily Mail tracked down a copy of the will – which made no mention of any party**. They were then left struggling to explain how a gift intended for the public good from an ‘intelligent’, church-going woman with ‘little interest in politics’ had ended up in their coffers in the first place.
**Update : Curiouser and curiouser ....
Davis Wood Solicitors press release
We confirm that we act as Executors of the late Joan Edwards.
The Will was drafted by a Solicitor at Davis Wood in 2001.
At the time of the instructions received from the late Miss Edwards, the Solicitor specifically checked with Miss Edwards about the unusual nature of her proposed bequest and it was confirmed by Miss Edwards at the time of her instructions that her estate was to be left to whichever political party formed the Government at the date of her death.