Thursday, 11 June 2020

... the decision raised concerns about "cash for favours".

From the BBC:

Labour has urged the Conservative Party to repay a £12,000 donation it received from a developer 14 days after Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick approved a £1bn building project.

Shadow housing secretary Steve Reed said the decision raised concerns about "cash for favours". And the Lib Dems want an investigation into the minister's conduct. But the government said Mr Jenrick had acted with propriety and retained the PM's "full confidence".

On 14 January, the housing secretary granted permission for Richard Desmond's company Northern & Shell to build on the Westferry Printworks site on east London's Isle of Dogs. The businessman - a former owner of the Daily Express - made a personal donation to the Conservatives two weeks later, on 28 January.

Mr Jenrick's approval for the Westferry scheme came the day before the introduction of a new council community levy, which would have meant the company paying an additional £40m. It has also emerged that Mr Desmond and Mr Jenrick sat at the same table at a Conservative Party fundraising dinner last November.

All a series of complete coincidences and entirely innocent, I'm sure.

Which brings us back to BenJamin's idea, that all direct donations to political parties should be completely illegal. Instead, people have to pay the money to the Electoral Commission, who pool it and pay each party a single, anonymous total at the end of each calendar quarter. So no politician will ever be sure that somebody has paid the bribe donation they promised.

And lest ye think that I am bashing the Tories -  Labour and the Lib Dems have been involved in similar entirely innocent and above board series of coincidences as well.


mombers said...

It's time to stop calling them donations - they are investments :-)

Great to have a post not related to climate change - keep 'em coming. What's happening to rents at the moment?

Mark Wadsworth said...

M and a good investment too! Re rents - The Stigler promised to do a post saying "ha! I told you so" but it has failed to materialise. But you have posting rights here, you can post away.

Another post on the desert's day/night energy budget coming up soon. I have set up my mind (and a killer spreadsheet) to think about this and the ideas just keep coming...