“48 of 151 members of elite club [very rich people] have given almost £52m”

” … one-third of UK’s richest people donate to Tories
No fewer than 48 of 151 members of elite club have given almost £52m, Labour analysis finds ..”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/conservatives-general-election-donors-billionaire-john-mcdonnell-labour-a9208036.html

“Boris Johnson’s Conservative party has received a surge in cash from Russian donors”

“… An OpenDemocracy investigation found that the UK Conservative party received at least £498,850 from Russian business people and their associates between November 2018 and October 2019.

This was a significant increase on the previous year when they received donations amounting to less than £350,000.

It comes despite increased pressure on the party to cut its ties to Russian oligarchs since the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury last year.

It also comes as Johnson’s chief strategist Dominic Cummings came under the spotlight for alleged Russian ties, after the Sunday Times reported claims from a whistleblower about “serious concerns” about the time he spent in Russia in the 1990s. …”

https://www.businessinsider.com/boris-johnsons-conservatives-receive-surge-in-cash-from-russians-2019-11?

Tory donors can, and do, control Prime Ministers

“Two former Conservative prime ministers lobbied a Middle Eastern royal family to award a multi-billion dollar oil contract to a company headed by a major Tory donor, the Guardian has established.

In March 2017, while in Downing Street, Theresa May wrote to the Bahraini prime minister to support the oil firm Petrofac while it was bidding to win the contract from the Gulf state.

Two months earlier, and just six months after stepping down as prime minister, David Cameron promoted the company during a two-day visit to Bahrain where he met the state’s crown prince.

Cameron was flown back to Britain on a plane belonging to Ayman Asfari, Petrofac’s co-founder, chief executive and largest shareholder. Petrofac did not ultimately win the contract.

Asfari and his wife, Sawsan, have donated almost £800,000 to the Conservative party since 2009. The donations were made in a personal capacity.

Documents obtained by the Guardian raise questions about how governments should best manage the perceived potential conflicts of interest generated by donations from business figures to political parties.

The government said it was routine for ministers to support British businesses bidding for major foreign contracts. Petrofac said official support had been obtained through entirely proper channels.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has been investigating Petrofac over suspected bribery, corruption and money laundering for at least two years. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/15/revealed-cameron-and-may-lobbied-bahrain-royals-for-tory-donors-oil-firm?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Boris’s Rasputin: don’t do as I do …

Brings backsome old memories:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2014/09/22/ex-councillor-browns-facts-disputed-2/

Anyone see parallels?

“Boris Johnson’s controversial enforcer, Dominic Cummings, an architect of Brexit and a fierce critic of Brussels, is co-owner of a farm that has received €250,000 (£235,000) in EU farming subsidies, the Observer can reveal.

The revelation is a potential embarrassment for the mastermind behind Johnson’s push to leave the EU by 31 October. Since being appointed as Johnson’s chief adviser, Cummings has presented the battle to leave the EU as one between the people and the politicians. He positions himself as an outsider who wants to demolish elites, end the “absurd subsidies” paid out by the EU and liberate the UK from its arcane rules and regulations.

But his critics say the revelation that Cummings has benefited from the system he intends to smash underscores how many British farmers are reliant on EU money that would evaporate if the UK leaves.

An Observer analysis of Land Registry documents and EU subsidy databases reveals that a farm in Durham, which Cummings jointly owns with his parents and another person, has received roughly €20,000 a year for most of the last two decades.

The revelation opens Cummings up to charges of hypocrisy, as writing on his blog, he has attacked the use of agricultural subsidies “dreamed up in the 1950s and 1960s” because they “raise prices for the poor to subsidise rich farmers while damaging agriculture in Africa”. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/10/dominic-cummings-owns-farm-got-eu-subsidy?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

“Businessman who lent Boris Johnson his £9.5 million flat given job as government adviser”

Here we go …

“LONDON — Boris Johnson has been accused by opponents of allowing friends to “buy influence” after a business executive who loaned the incoming prime minister his lavish £9.5 million home was offered a job in Johnson’s new administration.

Andrew Griffith has stepped down from his role as chief financial officer at broadcasting giant Sky to work as a “corporate adviser” to Johnson.

It came after Johnson and his campaign team were handed Griffith’s lavish Westminster property for the past few weeks as he fought Jeremy Hunt in the Conservative leadership contest, according to a Guardian report.

Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett said: “Before he is even appointed Prime Minister, one of Boris Johnson’s first acts is to dish out a powerful job in Number 10 to his super-rich pal who lent him his luxurious house in Westminster for the Tory leadership campaign.”

“The public would be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that Johnson’s friends can buy influence within the new administration.”

“It’s blindingly obvious — Boris Johnson and his government will act only in the interest of the wealthy elite.”

Johnson previously worked from the flat belonging to his partner Carrie Symonds located in Camberwell, south London. But the pair were forced to move out of the flat after police were called to the property following a row from the pair, which drew protests outside.

The couple have been living in Oxfordshire but Johnson’s sizeable campaign team reportedly needed a property near Westminster from which they could operate.

Griffith is a former Conservative election candidate who worked at Sky for twenty years, before standing down.

Chief executive Jeremy Darroch told Sky News: “Over the course of his twenty years at Sky and since 2008 as a member of the Board as CFO (chief financial officer) and then as chief operating officer, Andrew has played a fundamental role in many of our proudest collective achievements.”

“Whilst Andrew will be missed, he leaves behind a business that is performing well, has an ambitious set of growth plans and a strong team of colleagues,” he said. …”

https://www.insider.com/businessman-who-lent-boris-johnson-95-million-westminster-appointed-business-executive-by-the-new-prime-minister-2019-7

“Boris Johnson campaign chief’s firm lobbied councils for tobacco firm”

“The lobbying firm co-run by the man heading Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign has been writing to councils on behalf of a tobacco company before the announcement of planned new anti-smoking measures due in the coming weeks.

The Guardian has seen emails showing Crosby Textor Fullbrook Partners (CTFP) contacted councillors on behalf of Philip Morris, seeking to get the tobacco multinational involved in voluntary moves to curb cigarette smoking, as opposed to more onerous statutory efforts.

One of CTFP’s partners, Mark Fullbrook, has taken temporary leave from the firm to act as Johnson’s campaign manager. The lobbying efforts took place in April, while Fullbrook was still with the company.

While there is no suggestion that Fullbrook was personally involved in these actions, or that he is advising Johnson to adopt a similar line, it comes just over a week after Johnson called for a reconsideration of “sin taxes” on highly sugared drinks.

It later emerged that another arm of Crosby’s lobbying group represents a dairy firm in Australia which sells high-sugar milk drinks of the sort that could be targeted by an extension to a UK sugar tax.

CTFP states that Fullbrook’s role at the company has no bearing on his work with Johnson, and that he currently has no contact with clients.

But amid continued delays to a landmark government consultation on public health, expected to include tough new anti-smoking measures, campaign groups and Labour have urged the Johnson camp to commit to not watering down anti-smoking plans if he becomes prime minister.

They have also called on the health secretary, Matt Hancock, now a leading supporter of Johnson, to push ahead with the plans, which are expected to include a “polluter pays” levy in which tobacco firms would be forced to finance anti-smoking measures, and compulsory cards inside cigarette packets detailing the health perils.

The so-called prevention green paper, originally due in the first half of 2019, was scheduled to be released this week, but the Department for Health and Social Care says it does not have a confirmed publication date. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/16/boris-johnson-campaign-chiefs-firm-lobbied-councils-for-tobacco-firm?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other