Gordon Brown has previously claimed it is ‘a scandal’ that there is not greater transparency on the tax status of party backers. But latest figures show that since 2001, Labour have taken over £10 million from eight reportedly ‘non-dom’ donors:
• Lord Paul – £69,250 in donations to Labour, including £45,000 to Gordon Brown’s leadership campaign. A close friend of Gordon Brown and appointed to the Privy Council last summer, he has admitted to being ‘non-dom’.And compare this with the donations from Lord Ashcroft's Bearwood company...
• Lakshmi Mittal - £4.125 million in donations to Labour.
• Sir Ronald Cohen - £2.55 million in donations to Labour. Cohen was appointed chair of the Social Investment Taskforce, which was announced by the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown.
• Sir Christopher Ondaatje - £1.7 million in donations to Labour.
• Sir Gulam Noon - £532,826 in donations to Labour.
• William Bollinger - £510,725 in donations to Labour.
• Mahmoud Khayami - £985,000 in donations to Labour including £5,000 to Hazel Blears’ deputy leadership campaign. He has helped bankroll two flagship schools, one of which Gordon Brown opened, and was personally thanked for a donation by Tony Blair.
• Dr David Potter - £90,000 in a donation to Labour. He has previously delivered a lecture at Downing Street.
• Only one per cent donated by Bearwood this year. In the last calendar year, Bearwood’s donations contribution to the Conservative Party amounts to just one per cent of all donations – £329,859 donated out of £32,508,866 received by the Conservative Party (Electoral Commission register).
• Less than five per cent donated by Lord Ashcroft and Bearwood since Cameron became leader. Since David Cameron became leader, less than five per cent of cash and in-kind donations have come from Bearwood Corporate Services, a company in which Lord Ashcroft has an interest. Since Q1 2006, Bearwood has donated £4,131,995 in cash and in-kind out of a total £90,723,018 donated to the Conservative Party in the same period (Electoral Commission register).
• At most 10 per cent of marginal seat funds donated by Bearwood. Of the funds spent in marginal seats, the amount received from Bearwood is no more than 10 per cent at most (Electoral Commission register). The Independent put this at 18% in their Saturday edition, but those who have done the calculations disagree and out it at a maximum of 10%.
The point is that David Cameron has made clear that in future all donations will have to be made by domiciled UK taxpayers. Gordon Brown, so far as I am aware, has made no such commitment. Lord Ashcroft has said he will abide by the new rules. Will Lord Paul and Sir Ronnie Cohen and their friends?
Declaration of interest: Lord Ashcroft is a minority shareholder in my two companies, Biteback Media & Biteback Publishing