Party officials told Channel 4 earlier this week that they knew about Miss Williams, and they received a letter from her in response explaining her part in the ruse. Today (Saturday) the party’s Register Treasurer, Ian McIsaac, has written to Channel 4’S chief executive, Andy Duncan, seeking assurances that they will not attempt any further subterfuges of this nature. A Conservative Party spokesman said:
This was irresponsible and deceptive. Compliance by all major political parties with the laws of political party funding is a fundamental requirement in promoting confidence in the democratic process. The Electoral Commission, not an undercover journalist, properly regulates this compliance and the Conservative Party takes its responsibilities and obligations to the Electoral Commission very seriously.
It is not acceptable is for journalists to masquerade as a member of the Conservative Party - or any Party for that matter - in a covert, self-appointed role to “check” compliance procedures.More details, including email correspondence and an admission from Jenny Williams will, I believe, be published in tomorrow's Mail on Sunday.
It is of particular concern that as part of this subterfuge, Channel 4 deliberately obscured the source of Party donations so we were misled into believing it was Miss Williams who made the donations, when it was not. This meant that we were not able accurately to account for her donations.
Such behaviour by Channel 4 in this case undermines the proper working of a political party, and its accounting regime.”
UPDATE: ConservativeHome asks a telling question: Did they do the same to the Labour Party? And what about the LibDems?