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The truth about Lord Ashcroft's taxes

Nick Robinson | 11:22 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

At last. The truth is out. The man who's bankrolled the Tories for much of the past decade and has consistently refused to answer questions about his tax status has finally come clean. Michael Ashcroft is a "non-dom" - in other words he's not been paying British taxes on his non-UK earnings throughout the time he's been central to the Conservatives campaigning.

Lord AshcroftWhy, some will ask, does this matter? The answer is that Ashcroft is one of the biggest ever donors to a political party. Not only that but he now sits at the centre of the Tory election campaign directing his own, as well as other people's, money into a carefully targeted effort to win the marginal seats. Furthermore, he often accompanies the shadow foreign secretary William Hague on foreign trips.

Since foreign donations to political parties are banned, the Tories' opponents and the media have long sought an answer about Ashcroft's tax status. They've been met by Ashcroft's insistence that he's entitled to privacy and the party's baffling repetition of the line that he had assured them that he had fulfilled the assurances that he gave to William Hague when he was made a member of the House of Lords in 2000.

Now we know the reason for this obfuscation. In 2000, Ashcroft promised Hague that he'd take up permanent residence in the UK - as against Belize where his business interests are and where he's always said his heart is. Everyone assumed that this meant becoming a full UK taxpayer. Ashcroft now says that after "dialogue with the government" he was told officially that this could be interpreted as meaning becoming a "long term resident", not a full UK taxpayer. The Conservatives refuse to say whether they knew about this clarification or not.

Questions still remain about Lord Ashcroft's donations to the Conservatives which are being examined by the Electoral Commission. Since foreign donations are illegal, one key judgement will be whether the company he uses to channels funds to the Tories is seen as a legitimate UK trading company.

Questions also still remain about his wider role. Conservative officials insist that Ashcroft has "no role and no influence" in shaping Conservative policy despite his presence at William Hague's side when policy is clearly being formed.

For years when senior Tories were asked about Michael Ashcroft in private they have shrugged their shoulders and said "you know what he's like". What they mean is he's stubborn, fiercely protective of his privacy and unwilling to bend to the demands of those he sees as his enemies.

David Cameron's response to the questions about him has been to reduce Tory financial dependence on him; to promote a change in the law to bar non-doms from sitting in Parliament and, I assume, to tell him he'd be better outing himself before Freedom of Information or journalistic enquiry did it for him. Lord Ashcroft hints this morning that he's about to change his tax status so that he can stay in the Lords.

Labour MPs have long obsessed about the man they accuse of trying to buy an election in a country in which he does not even bother to be fully resident for tax purposes. Their attack is blunted somewhat by the fact that Gordon Brown made Sraj Paul - a Labour donor and non-dom - a peer and a member of the Privy Council.

An investigation by The Independent this weekend appears to give ammunition to both sides in this argument. It claimed that Ashcroft's Tory HQ operation had channelled large sums into fighting campaigns in marginal seats - £6m over two years. However, it also showed that £5million of that had been raised locally.

When it comes to Ashcroft - you pays yer money, or rather he does (and lots of it) and you make your choice.

Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    Such a shame nobody wants to give the newlabour attack dogs any money.

    Never mind.

    Call an election

  • Comment number 2.

    The Tory line on this will be that Ashcroft is a non-dom as are a number of Labour peers. But Ashcroft is in a different league in terms of both power within the party and amount of money donated.

    The fact that he has been allowed by David Cameron to carry on being a non-dom is a disgrace and reflects Cameron's lack of judgement. Do you trust a man like Ashcroft - see link below - and can you trust a leader and a party who is funded by him?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7904212.stm

  • Comment number 3.

    'Labour MPs have long obsessed about the man they accuse of trying to buy an election in a country in which he does not even bother to be fully resident for tax purposes. Their attack is blunted somewhat by the fact that Gordon Brown made Sraj Paul - a Labour donor and non-dom - a peer and a member of the Privy Council.'
    Actually their attack underlines the utterly self-serving hypocrisy of politicians, their apologists and the various gangs, sorry parties, they belong to. They really aren't worth our contempt.

  • Comment number 4.

    Nick,

    Lord Paul is NOT the only Labour Non Dom. Your article implies he is. There are a lot of them (Paul/Mittal/Cohen etc) and they have donated millions themselves.

    Tell the complete story. It paints a different picture

  • Comment number 5.

    The reason why Ashcroft's tax arrangements have become a big issue is because of the funding by Ashcroft of the Tory campaign in the marginal seats.

    Now we know he is a non-dom, a fact that most suspected, the issue then arises as to the role of the Labour non-doms who also put their hands in their pocket for their party.

    This campaign by Labour to neutralise the effect of Ashcroft's money could backfire. They have been running the tax system since 1997 and are quite happy to play the advatage when it suits them.

    My question is why anyone who does not pay full UK taxes should be allowed to participate in UK politics? The fact that these folk also sit in the Hosue of Lords suggests that there is at least one constitutional reform well overdue: a democratically elected second chamber!

  • Comment number 6.

    Why have you not mentioned Lord Paul in all of this? Or the long list of Labours Non-Dom donators?

  • Comment number 7.

    10 years of Tory denials and the truth is finally out. They should sack Sraj Paul and Lord Ashcroft alike, and seize those £6m of campaign funds until Ashcroft pays up the last 10 years' taxes like he promised he would. If I didn't pay full UK taxes for 10 years I'd get arrested; when a Tory does he gets a peerage!!

  • Comment number 8.

    Guess he is liable for taxes retrospectively?

    UK citizens who live abroad as tax exiles could find themselves facing a retrospective tax bill stretching back as far as the previous six years, following a recent Court of Appeal ruling.

    The case involved businessman Robert Gaines-Cooper, who has lived in the Seychelles since 1976. Despite this fact, the judges in the case ruled that whilst he had adhered to previous HM Revenue & Customs guidance by spending fewer than 91 days in the UK on average each year, he had nevertheless maintained ties with the country.

    Mr Gaines-Cooper may now have to pay backdated tax amounting to around £30m.

    The Appeal Court said that the 91-day rule did not actually establish non-residency, and ruled that the UK had remained the 'centre of gravity' of the defendant's life and interests.

    The ruling means that thousands of UK tax exiles could have their lifestyle scrutinised by the Revenue, with factors such as the number and length of visits to the UK, any economic and business ties, and other ongoing connections such as membership of UK banks or sporting clubs, being taken into consideration.

  • Comment number 9.

    Nick

    can you enlighten us on when if ever you have asked any Labour party member the same questions that you still seek to point at Ashcroft?

    Mittal

    Paul

    any others?

    You have clearly left yourself open to the charge of bias on this one.

    Is it the principle or the MONEY that exercises you.

    Keep going and the Labour poll lead will be back.

    The pound has dropped against all other currencies today after the lead is down to 2 points.

    Beaver away and we may see a full blown Stirling crisis.

  • Comment number 10.

    Well Marr and Maitlis will have to think up some new questions now - they have been obsessed by this issue.

    Tories only have themselves to blame - they should have come clean straight away - we all knew the answer.

    Surprised Nick has nothing to say about the Tory conference

  • Comment number 11.

    So Nick, now that one's sorted - presumably you'll be hot on the heels of Lord Paul now? Have the Lib Dems got anyone supporting them, or was that dodgy finacier all they could muster? Presumably there'll be a hue and a cry to get them to pay that money back, even though they seem to have been magically absolved from that penalty?

  • Comment number 12.

    Its not so much the petty party political point scoring that annoys me here, but the fact they reduce what I consider very important matters in their constant how-high-against-the-wall games.

    The fact that he sits in one of the houses, gets well rewarded for his trouble and is in a position of power within our poltical establishment with no popular mandate should make him whiter than white, but alas no.

    Surely its a joke to allow someone to represent the country if they are not willing to pay their fair share towards the cost of said country.

    Once again we see a set of rules for us plebs and another set for our betters and political masters.

    Four legs good, two legs better it would seem.

  • Comment number 13.

    2. At 11:43am on 01 Mar 2010, APbbforum wrote:

    True to form one rule for Labour and another for everyone else.

    Its not the principal its the Money, same old politics of envy.

  • Comment number 14.

    And what about the Labour Lords, Lord Paul/Sir Cohen, no mention of their non-dom status... I wonder why Labour haven't even tried to push any reforms through which could hurt these non-dom Lords...

  • Comment number 15.

    All political donations over £2500 should be banned. Let's stop all parties from courting corporate sponsorship and instead have them interacting with the people who really matter - us.

    It's no surprise that Nick wants to make an issue out of this, given that it's a dig at the Tories, but since Lord Ashcroft is far from an isolated case, in the interests of balance I'm hoping for more of the same on all sides in the very near future.

  • Comment number 16.

    If the Government spent less time attacking the Tories and more time and energy on getting the economy right, we may be in a better position to end this hiatus in UK fiances.

  • Comment number 17.

    You say it is the "truth" Mr Robinson. Is it, I mean, really the truth? Or is the truth about our worthless democratic processes going to trickle along while these sickly droplets penetrate our skulls timelessly?

    The Commons have known all about this for a very long time, after all Ashcroft promised he would become "Dom" as agreement to obtaining his peerage. And it is only now, at the eleventh hour of this Parliament that a Bill is going through to prevent this contempt from continuing.

    So much for our democracy and priorities. If the Conservatives lose the Election, Ashcroft will have saved exactly how much in taxes, and who else benefited too?

  • Comment number 18.

    So 5% of the Tories' donations is 'bankrolling' them, is it Nick?
    I see you have got your partiality hat on today!
    How much has Unite given to New Labour in that funny financing roundabout you never mention? Or Lords Paul & Cohen and Lakmi Mittal?
    I know balance is rare here, but do try!


  • Comment number 19.

    'Everyone assumed', Nick!
    Assume makes an ass out of me and an ass out of you!

  • Comment number 20.

    2. APbbforum
    Absolutely right.... same old tories with a new lick of paint. its ok for 60 million of us to pay uk tax but not one of their largest doners.
    absolutely appalling.
    but as usual it will be defended by the cons and their supporters.
    british public..don't be conned by the "new conservatives". They are even worse than the last tory govt.

  • Comment number 21.

    Firstly the Conservatives have no questions to answer on Ashcroft until Labour have answered questions on Lord Paul.

    Non-dom status applies to a vast majority of City bankers and Hedge Fund managers, the very ones Labour have been close to in their years of Government. I wonder why then Labour has consistly done nothing about non-dom status all the time they have been in Government, if it is such an important issue. Or maybe, it only becomes an important issue when Ashcroft and the Conservatives are involved. The reason of course why Labour have done nothing about non-doms is they generate wealth and investment in Britain. The Government itself has admitted that should the non-doms leave Britain in significant numbers, which they intend to do should tax become an issue to places like Switizerland of low taxation, this would cause a lot of problems for Britain. Britain at the moment has nothing to generate wealth except the financial sector (the city). This lack of Britains ability to have other areas of wealth creation, can only be laid at Labours door. The Inland Revenue must have signed off Ashcrofts tax status so as far as I am concerned there is no problem.

    As to influence if Ashcroft is a problem for the Conservatives because he may influence policy, then the Unions should not finance Labour as they have much more influence on Labour policy than Ashcroft could ever have on Conservative policy.

    Lets start to look at Labours donations which come from non-doms shall we.

    Oh the politics of envy will definitely be Britains undoing.

  • Comment number 22.

    The Tories should be made to repay all of the money given by Mr Ashcroft (ever since he has been donating) as it is now quite obvious that he and his party (for as he is the major paymaster - it is 'his' party) was deliberately ambiguous about his tax status and this deception is unacceptable.

    If the Parliamentary Commissioner and/or the Electoral Commission does not insist on this they are failing to do the job that the Nation expects of them and their offices.

    From my reading of the Acts under which their offices were set up this is their duty to investigate the propriety of Mr Ashcroft in his personal capacity and the Tory Party for knowingly receiving such donations when it either knew or should have known of the now obvious duplicity regarding the tax status of the donor and because of this the Tory Party should be required by the Electoral Commission to repay the donations immediately.

    (Anyone any other take on the Law?)

  • Comment number 23.

    From Ian Dale Blog

    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’.
    • 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.

    And compare this with the donations from Lord Ashcroft's Bearwood company...

    • 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%.

  • Comment number 24.

    #8. Harri wrote:

    "...he is liable for taxes retrospectively..." Yes it seems so!

    He'll have the money as the Tory Party will need to refund his donations! (see #22)

  • Comment number 25.


    "Ashcroft is one of the biggest ever donors to a political party". "One of" maybe. But how about some balance.

    The Ashcroft 'non-dom' attack line is so blatant it is almost laughable. New Labour has its own dirty secrets over 'non-doms' so should your report be a little more, er, balanced.

    The issue of a 'non-dom' - any non-dom - bankrolling a political party - any political party - has to be addressed.

    The Tories are hitting back with Paul and Mittal. Interesting that Ashcoft has made that very point in his letter. Maybe that will balance out and fizzle out as an electioneering attack line.

    Paul? Ashcroft? Bores the pants voters. Both as bad as each other?

    http://theorangepartyblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/why-so-prickly-about-paul-ashcroft.html

  • Comment number 26.

    Ashcroft's money may make little difference to the outcome of the General Election, PhoneyDave is beating himself with his only economic policy,turning the Treasury into a cash cow for himself, his rich friends and their families by the proposed changes to Inheritance Tax. Patriotic Duty? what a joke.

  • Comment number 27.

    APbbforum #2 wrote

    'and can you trust a leader and a party who is funded by him?'

    Yes of course I can. Who cares as long as it is only a small percentage of the total.

    The party I don't trust is the one that is bankrolled by trade unions.

  • Comment number 28.

    I've read in comments previously that Nick has a Labour bias but didn't believe it until now. Let me make a few points

    I don't think any party should receive money from non-doms.
    The Labour Party has received more money from non-doms than the Conservatives
    The Labour Party says that Ashcroft has financed all the Conservatives work in marginals. In fact, the Independent newspaper said it was 18% and fresh analysis says it's 10%.
    Ascroft's donations to the Conservatives is 5% of their total income.
    Cameron has said he will introduce a law to ensure nobody is an MP or Peer if they are a non-dom. Ashcroft has agreed to that when it becomes law. Lord Paul (a Labour Peer, one of about 10 non-dom Labour Donors and Privy Councillor, appointed by Brown) only this morning refused to agree.
    Cameron has said he will restrict donations to political parties to £50,000 not agreed to by Brown.

    I agree with Nick that this is an imporant issue but unbiased reporting should include more of the above facts.

  • Comment number 29.

    I wonder if Lord Ashcroft would have come clean without the impending FOI request being published? I laughed at his statement when he fingered Labour's non Doms as a way of excusing himself from not becoming a UK resident and paying full tax.
    Last time I looked the Labour Non Doms did not hold a party position such as Deputy Chair with an office next to the party leader at HQ. Neither did they accompany and pay for David Milliband's travel and hotel costs when having meetings with foreign governments. Even if nothing dodgy happened (like Osbourne being on the ship with Mandy!) it shows a total lack of judgement by Hague who wants to occupy one of the great offices of state.
    If David and George are so keen to reduce the deficit they can start by making sure that party officials pay tax on all their income like the rest of us have to. Then I will believe him when he says that we will all feel pain in reducing the deficit.
    The first thing that I thought of when reading this story was same old same old wrt the tory party -and I thought they were supposed to have changed.... It will take more than a new haircut and some airbrushing of posters for David to explain this one in a positive way.

  • Comment number 30.

    Yes it's wrong that Labour gets money from non-doms. But Ashcroft is in a completely different position from the Labour non-doms who have simply handed money over. Ashcroft is in a position of immense power within the Tory party - see his own website below - and that is simply wrong. Cameron should sack him and if he doesn't we know he can't be trusted with leadership of the country.

    http://www.lordashcroft.com/politics/index.html

  • Comment number 31.

    and to all those who are quoting labours non doms
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2010/mar/01/michael-white-lord-ashcroft-non-dom
    the conservative party cannot wriggle out of this...they are proving time and time again that they are the same as ever. and all that camerons paint job has done is reveal and highlight the same old cracks. and this is just the start. they are a train crash in waiting and those members of the public who are not already wise to them...will become so as an election looms closer...

    call an election

  • Comment number 32.

    20. At 12:06pm on 01 Mar 2010, lefty10 wrote:

    Try and point your devastating intellect at you own Party.

    Mittal

    Paul

    etc.

    What percentage of Labour party funds are provided by the Big unions?

    Donations for influence anyone?

    Try to have some credibility if your going to spout.

  • Comment number 33.

    11. Trainman
    'So Nick, now that one's sorted - presumably you'll be hot on the heels of Lord Paul now?'
    This is 'sorted'? Just because Michael 'Belize is where the heart is' Ashcroft confesses? Does that mean that all Swraj 'Pass the expenses form' Paul has to do is own up and its sorted for him too?
    What was it Jesus said about beams and motes?

  • Comment number 34.

    Nick

    if you and the Labour supporters on hear have such a problem with None Dom's why did they give the job of running the Government owned Northern Rock to a none dom?

  • Comment number 35.

    Time for parties and election campaigns to be centrally funded then?

  • Comment number 36.

    "in other words he's not been paying British taxes on his non-UK earnings throughout the time he's been central to the Conservatives campaigning."

    So what, why should he have to pay tax on non-UK earnings, anyone who complains is either just ignorant, jealous or both. QED, nothing more needs to be said on the issue.

  • Comment number 37.

    Hypothetically, if all political parties were immediately required to repay all donations by non-doms...wouldn't Labour go bust?

  • Comment number 38.

    1) "in other words he's not been paying British taxes on his non-UK earnings throughout the time he's been central to the Conservatives campaigning."

    2) "In 2000, Ashcroft promised Hague that he'd take up permanent residence in the UK [as opposed to Belize] Everyone assumed that this meant becoming a full UK taxpayer."

    3) "he does not even bother to be fully resident for tax purposes"

    Those two extracts from your blog, Nick, suggest that you do not understand how the taxation of non-doms works.

    1) He would pay tax if he remitted the income to the UK

    2) I wouldn't assume that as it's not correct. That's the whole point of the non-Dom tax status. Someone who is Resident & Domiciled has different tax treatment that someone who is Resident but non-domiciled. It's all there in HMRC rules (HMRC6 booklet)

    3) he IS fully resident. Resident but non-domiciled.

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    IGPABP1 #26

    Let me explain what Cameron meant when he referred to his patriotic duty.

    He meant rescuing this country from sliding into the economic abyss where we are currently headed due the disastrous policies being persued by Gordon Brown and his spineless lackies. He wants to prevent Britain ending up like Greece (even if you don't care).

    Hope that clears that one up for you.

  • Comment number 41.

    in order to show the importance of this story
    a profile of lord ashcroft and his role in the conservative party.
    very interesting reading!!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/01/lord-ashcroft-profile

  • Comment number 42.

    Time and again we read from contributors that articles are biased, either against the Cons or Labour - I can't help but feel there is an anti Brown sentiment in much of the BBC's reporting. Is it not time the BBC went back to doing what it should be doing best - reporting news in a completely unbiased fashion and, if they wish to give us their opinion then do it somewhere other than televisd news programmes and what purport to be news websites?

  • Comment number 43.

    Yawn Zzzzzzzzzzz

    no-one cares

    Labour have non-dom donors too, and the Lib Dems' biggest donor is a fraudster! This is a village story. Why not write about the -4cent fall in the £/$ rate today as markets react to the prospect that the tories might not form the next government.

  • Comment number 44.

    Wonder whether many members of the Unite union are aware that their leaders donated in excess of £10 million pounds to the labour party in the last three years, with £330,00 in December 09 alone.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/8540095.stm

  • Comment number 45.

    Ahh nice to see the usual "balance" from Nick.

    So if Lord Ashcroft's earnings from outside the UK are such an issue as they're seen as not paying into the public purse; how about the tax payers money used to fund the labour party via the public sector unions?
    (or indeed the funding of the BBC that seems intent on presenting party political broadcasts masqueradign as news for new labour on demand).

  • Comment number 46.

    Lord Ashcroft is a non-dom and he has donated to the Conservative Party. Several non-dom's have donated to the Labour party. Anyone Labour supporter complaining about Lord Ashcroft is guilty of the same hypocrisy as those who moan about "Eton boy" Cameron whilst ignoring the fact that Blair went to Fettes.

  • Comment number 47.

    I read the piece in The Independent and it made disturbing reading insofar as the Ashcroft money is being effectively used to subvert what is already a very weak democracy here in our England, by very careful targeting of 'swing' voters in the key marginal constituencies.

    Something needs to be done to counteract this attack on English democratic values (such as they are).

    Within the next few days, you will be able to view a Democratic England website which identifies the alternative choices to the three mainstream parties in the 533 constituencies of England, which demonstrates that yes, you really do have some reasonable alternative political choices; although you'd hardly believe it if you just follow the mainstream mdeia outlets.

    Think of it as asymmetrical political warfare i.e. minute money versus the millions of pounds that the big three political parties throw at the General Election campaign.

  • Comment number 48.

    IPGABP1 @26...

    Please don't let facts get in the way of some political posturing Old Boy...

    Presently there are some 200000-250000 houses worth more than £1million in the UK....It is the people that own them who WILL pay IHT under Tory proposals.

    The number of houses worth between £325000 (current IHT threshold) and £1 million is estimated in the millions.It is the owners of these that will fall outside the IHT thresholds..and therefore benefit.

    Not the "only 3000 millionaires" that Labour Ministers love to quote...just ordinary people who have worked hard to get a good home for their families.

  • Comment number 49.

    As explained above, Labour have taken 10 million from non-dom donors, as Joh Denham confirmed on 'The Daily Politics' today. For one party to accuse another seems rank hypocrisy, and I extend that description to the various Labour-supporting bloggers who are becoming so excitable about the matter.

    Something else to remember is that Labour have dodged the whole issue of non-domicile tax status (possibly correctly) because they did not wish various rich individuals (such as Greek shipping magnates) to leave the UK. Ironically it was the (hated, by Labour) shadow Chancellor, George Osborne who proposed a non-dom tax.

    At first sight Lord Paul and Lord Ashcroft have not disobeyed UK tax law as both have paid UK tax on their UK earnings. If this is correct in the individual case then there is no question of tax avoidance or retrospective taxation.

    So my question to Labour bloggers: why hasn't your beloved Government reformed non-dom tax law?

  • Comment number 50.

    John_from_Hendon wrote:
    The Tories should be made to repay all of the money given by Mr Ashcroft (ever since he has been donating) as it is now quite obvious that he and his party (for as he is the major paymaster - it is 'his' party) was deliberately ambiguous about his tax status and this deception is unacceptable.
    ----------------
    I'm assuming that you would apply the same rules to the Labour donations as well? Or is this an "applies to anyone other than squeaky clean Labour"?

    Bottom line is that this piece of reporting is very biased and quite frankly is so pro-Labour its slightly embarrasing for the author.

  • Comment number 51.

    Ashcroft has confirmed that when required to do so, he will pay full UK taxes in the UK, and remain in the Lords. So the suggestion about where his heart is, has been blunted.

    Labours Lord Paul, who is similarly a Non Dom, has not made clear whether he will remain in the Lords. It suggests that Lord Pauls heart may not be in the UK. Despite this Gordon Brown was happy to take his money to fund both the Labour party and Browns leadership campaign

    It is time for Labour and their non dom peers to come clean - where does there heart lay?

    Will they be paying full UK taxes or will they walk away from the Lords with their wallets?

  • Comment number 52.

    32.PortcullisGate.
    look at the post above yours. (sigh)
    if you do some research on unions you may get an understanding. they represent hundreds and sometimes thoudsands of individual workers. see the difference?
    im afraid camerons attempt to disinfect his party is crumbling around him. leopards and spots!

  • Comment number 53.

    Labour are the biggest hypocrites ever many of their Non-Dom's have donated largesum's to the Labour party.

    http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2010/03/donations-from-non-doms-labours.html

  • Comment number 54.

    #39 bluesberry wrote:
    "tax evasion whether by domicile or non-domicile is not a private matter"

    But there is no evidence that Labour peer Lord Paul broke UK tax law.

    At least make a minimal effort to keep up.

    Of course we could debate whether UK tax law should change (to bring it in line with the US, for example), but that is another matter.

  • Comment number 55.

    I don't care who is a Dom or a non-Dom. I do care that the person has integrity and, if in the legislature, makes the best decision he can based upon his or her interpretation of how good or bad the legislation will be for the country.
    A comment was made today on the BBC news that all non-Doms who were not paying UK taxes should not be permitted to vote on tax issues! This is a perverse point of view, as normally in a legislature, people are not permitted to vote on a topic if they have a vested interest! An example here is the Southend Council kicking out all beach hut owners who were also councillers when voting on the issue of beach hut ground rents and Council tax. Based upon this principle, ONLY non-Doms who do not pay UK tax should be voting on tax issues! The whole thing is an artificially created 'crisis' for gaining political points - and nothing else!

  • Comment number 56.

    They can spray it with rose-scented water as much as they like, but we all know what it is underneath.

    If he's a non-dom, then it means he doesn't live here. If he doesn't live here, he shouldn't be allowed to donate, or sit, or play any role whatsoever in British politics. If he wants to take part, then he must live here and pay his way, like the rest of us. Otherwise, strip him of his peerage. Of course, they wouldn't do that: even Archer kept his peerage, and he's a proven liar who went to prison. Peerages should be given out for service to the country, not a party. I'm sick of the lot of them: where's Guy Fawkes when you need him?

  • Comment number 57.

    Also Labour back's people like Philip Green who himself is one of the countries biggest tax evaders. He own's Topshop, Boots and BHS. Yet he keeps on dodging taxes under Labour.

  • Comment number 58.

    Good blog Nick. This Ashcroft business really stinks.

    In the interests of party political balance, I trust you'll also be blogging on some of Labour's less savoury funding sources later this week?

  • Comment number 59.

    Dear Nick,

    Paying for an election rather than paying for passports, or paying to be exempt for tabacco advertising, or paying for 'fill in your own words here'. We have plenty to choose from.

    Xxxx

  • Comment number 60.

    Ivan Woodhouse @ 23

    Thanks for the figures. Wow! Ashcroft is certainly in a different league from those other donors, isn't he? Lord Paul is often used to balance the argument, but it seems he's only donated £70K in total during a period of at least eight years, compared with Ashcroft's £330K last year alone. It's useful to keep the facts in mind in order to refute spurious comparisons.

  • Comment number 61.

    #39


    "David Cameron has said that he respects people's privacy but tax evasion whether by domicile or non-domicile is not a private matter. It is a public matter, which should be resolved by public debate for the sake of uniformity, legality and justice."

    Tax avoidance and tax evasion are very different things.
    Whilst legal tax avoidance does potentially show a worrying lack of commitment to the public purse and British society (but then again how many people would willingly pay more tax than they have to?), tax evasion is a criminal offence, and as such unsubstantiated accusations are ill advised.

  • Comment number 62.

    It is curious that his Lordship will only relinquish his non-dom status if the Conservatives win the next election. Begs the question or questions, what will he do if
    a. Conservatives lose the election ?
    b Conservatives are the largest Party (therefore the "winners") but the government is formed by a Lab-Lib coalition ?
    I presume he will then maintain his very lucrative non-dom status. It is a bit rich (if not nauseating) for Cameron to appeal to patriotic sentiment when a key member of his team hedges his bets on whether he will pay full UK tax or not !!
    Nilesh

  • Comment number 63.

    For some people there's no crime a Tory could do which wouldn't in some way be the fault of Labour. Even if a Tory MP was caught murdering children Cameron's unquestioning army would be going on about how Labour politicians probably killed more but got away with it.

    As for the politics of envy charge...it totally misunderstands why people oppose things like this. People don't like it as its a reflection of an incredibly selfish, dishonourable and treacherous attitude. They don't envy the fact he's gaining from his dishonour, they just don't like the dishonour itself. You might as well just accuse the people who whinge on about 'dole scroungers' to be merely envious of the fact they have to work for their money whilst the scroungers get it without any effort.

  • Comment number 64.

    Calm down dears!
    I'm afraid there is a lot of misunderstanding and misapprehension on here, both about tax law and about what Ashcroft undertook to do in 2000, before he took up his peerage. I suggest everyone reads the full text of his statement before making any more ill-informed comments.
    For those who can't be bothered, here are some facts:
    Ashcroft has fulfilled his promise to make the UK his principal residence.
    He does pay tax in the UK.
    His donations to the Tories are made by his UK company and their legality (or otherwise) is independent of his UK tax status.
    There has been no "duplicity regarding the tax status of the donor", #22 John_from_Hendon, because all the donations have been properly declared to the Electoral Commission.
    There is all party support for the legislation currently before Parliament that will prevent both MPs and peers from sitting in Parliament while holding non-dom status.
    Ashcroft has said he will abide by the new law and retain his seat.
    Paul has said he would rather give up his seat than give up his non-dom tax status. Not very "patriotic" for a Privy Councillor!

  • Comment number 65.

    Do any real free thinking people post on here anymore I wonder or has it been entirely taken over by party activists.

    Strewth!!

    Worth noting the markets response (negative) to labours success in the polls as well as Tories attempts to distance themselves from the policies that were making the markets relatively stable( in anticipation of a costs cutting tory government.

    Its going to be a very bumpy few months ahead, I reckon by the time its done the public are going to be so sick of the lot of them that the liberal democrats will start to look attractive as 200-1 shots to win.


    What a bunch of visionless grasping chumps we have as so called 'leaders'.





  • Comment number 66.

    It is curious that his Lordship will only relinquish his non-dom status if the Conservatives win the next election. Begs the question (or questions) as to what will he do if
    a. Conservatives lose the election ?
    b Conservatives are the largest Party (therefore the "winners") but the government is formed by a Lab-Lib coalition ?
    I presume he will then maintain his very lucrative non-dom status. It is a bit rich (if not nauseating) for Cameron to appeal to patriotic sentiment when a key member of his team hedges his bets on whether he will pay full UK tax or not !!

    Nilesh

  • Comment number 67.

    38.
    perhaps this would effect the Electoral Commissions decision who are currently looking into claims that his company was not "carrying on business" in Britain and was therefore not eligible to donate to the conservative party..... or perhaps it wont!

  • Comment number 68.

    Boiler @ 36

    So what, why should he have to pay tax on non-UK earnings …?"


    >>

    Nobody is saying he should pay tax on them. Billions of people pay no tax at all in the UK because they earn money in different countries. They're called foreigners (or ex pats). The issue is only how big a role these people should be allowed to play in our politics, directly or indirectly (through funding). There is some agreement on this among the parties, and I assume the policy comes not from ignorance or jealousy but from a desire to protect our democracy.

  • Comment number 69.

    Labour has wrecked the economy - RPI vs CPI change that would have curbed the house price bubble.
    Labour has wrecked our Pensions - the Gordon Brown flag ship greed tax on hard working families.
    Labour has wrecked our education system - dumbed down society to distract the populace from politics while they concentrate on Jeremy Kyle.
    Labour has introduced university tuition fees - despite promising not to - plunging middle income students and their families into crippling debt.
    Labour ignored international law and participated in the invasion of a sovereign nation for the sole purpose of regime change.
    Labour are responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents and of our underpaid overworked armed forces.

    Labour Targets, Labour Taxes, Labour Terror, Labour greed and Labour Ruin.

    Ashcroft's tax status is trivia, tabled by Labour as another disctaction from policy and peddled by sound bite driven News media.

    Take another look at Labour and see them for what they are.

  • Comment number 70.

    Lefty10 #41

    Just as a follow up to your post. Here's another party funding related link (from a source equally as impartial as yours)

    http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com/2010/02/labour-becoming-more-reliant-on-union.html

    Some extracts from this link below -

    'Labour more reliant on trade unions for funding in 2009 than in 2008. In 2008, trade unions provided 52.2 per cent of funding for the Labour Party. In 2009, this rose to 60.3 per cent'

    'Conservatives continue to broaden the base of support'

    'Labour Party still relies on a few big individual donors'

  • Comment number 71.

    Nick -- your blog never fails to amaze me. Silence for days while Gordon and his cronies deserve comment but as soon as you think you have an "anti conservative" line or pro Labour you suddenly pop up with some biased thoughts. Your comments regarding Lord Ashcroft seem to differ quite considerably to the editorial in the more reliable Daily Telegraph who flag that Lord Ashcroft has written to the Conservative Party confirming he will become a UK tax resident to retain his seat in the House of Lords.
    "Contrast that to Lord Paul, one of Labour’s biggest donors, who has indicated that he will leave the Lords rather than expose himself to UK tax requirements."
    One assumes your next post will focus on Labour non-doms to retain BBCs impartiality -- NOT.

  • Comment number 72.

    #47 JohnConstable

    "...made disturbing reading insofar as the Ashcroft money is being effectively used to subvert what is already a very weak democracy here in our England, by very careful targeting of 'swing' voters in the key marginal constituencies."

    And how democratic is it that boundary changes mean one of the 2 major parties requires a significantly lower proportion of the vote to gain a majority than the other?

    Look at the public funds that are used to push Labour policies and to finance "think tanks", the concept of "fairness" was left behind long ago.

  • Comment number 73.

    I do chuckle to myself when I see the cohorts of Govenment apologists banging on about it being wrong for anyone (who happens to be a Tory) not paying full UK tax.

    Perhaps they should turn their attention to the millions of benefits receivers who aren't averse to the odd bit of 'cash in hand' work,in order to avoid paying Tax, whilst retaining their tax payers handouts...

    ...or could it be that they form a large proportion of Labour core voters and are therefore exempt from criticism?

  • Comment number 74.

    “The man who's bankrolled the Tories for much of the past decade”. Ashcroft’s donations amount to 2% of Tory fundraising. Since when does 2% amount to bankrolling?

    Lord Ashcroft has been paying tax in the UK on his UK income. The exact amount rightly remains private but I suspect that it is not an insignificant amount.

    Ashcroft has not done anything that is either illegal or not available to the rest of us. The difference between him and us is that he has sufficient wealth to make these tax arrangements worthwhile.

    Meanwhile, Labour non-dom donations since 2001 total over £10 million. And how much taxpayers’ money does Labour get via the Union Modernisation Fund? I hope the BBC will give us fair and balanced reporting on the issue of political funding.

  • Comment number 75.

    The concept of domicile, as applied to a person's tax status, is elucidated thus by HMRC: "Broadly, to acquire a domicile of choice you must leave your current country of domicile and settle in another country. You need to provide strong evidence that you intend to live there permanently or indefinitely."
    This idea, widely and cynically abused by the wealthy and their accountants to ensure minimum remittance of tax to the Treasury, surely cannot be invoked in support of a person who wants to be a Member of Parliament and speak on behalf of the majority who cannot afford such evasiveness.

  • Comment number 76.

    Nick, your report gets straight to the heart of the peripherary, as all too often seems to happen. Labour supporters may not like it, and I agree it would be better for him to "come clean", but this is about political envy and the desire to whip up a convenient sleaze storm. We all know how much money he has donated. What about union donations to Labour - for how long are these going to be allowed to continue? The most unionised part of our economy is the public sector. Who has piled billions into the public sector to create more (unionised) jobs? Is that not worthy of discussion? Until the storm over expenses, there was a debate about state political funding, albeit with few signs of a consensus. Nobody would have the courage to propose state funding for political parties in the current environment. Parties have to get their money from somewhere, or should the Tories just say no and allow Labour's union pork barrel continue?

  • Comment number 77.

    Why hasn't Cameron sacked the tax exile from his role as deputy Chairman of the Tory party? Cameron simply cannot be trusted.

    When George Young admitted that Ashcroft was a non-dom the Tories denied it - see link below. It's clear they were lying and hoping to get away with it. But they've been found out.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/feb/09/lord-ashcroft-conservatives-tax

  • Comment number 78.

    Nick says; "An investigation by The Independent this weekend appears to give ammunition to both sides in this argument. It claimed that Ashcroft's Tory HQ operation had channelled large sums into fighting campaigns in marginal seats - £6m over two years. However, it also showed that £5million of that had been raised locally.

    When it comes to Ashcroft - you pays yer money, or rather he does (and lots of it) and you make your choice."

    Can someone enlighten me? £6m has been spent over a largish number of marginal constituencies, £5m doesn't come from Ashcroft's organisation but is raised locally, so he has spread just £1m from his own organisation around them. And are we invited to compare this with Lakshmi Mittal - £4.125 million in donations to Labour, Sir Ronald Cohen - £2.55 million in donations to Labour, Sir Christopher Ondaatje - £1.7 million in donations to Labour - all non-doms? Is this correct?

    Doesn't sound like quite as much as the noise Nick generates. Perhaps some objectivity required in reading this post?

  • Comment number 79.

    What a surprise...the wealthy have a great deal of influence in politics and rules will be changed for their benefit. Who would have guessed? The "people" don't know what is in their own best interest so we count on nobles to make everything right. Sounds like the system of earlier times....going backwards into the future.

  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

    A lot of the Tories on this blog are making a fuss about Lord Paul et al. So lets be clear about the differences. Nobody in the Labour Party has been hiding their status for the last 10 years, only to finally 'fess up when freedom of information details are about to be made available. The fact that everybody can go on about Lord Paul and other Labour peers here is because they already *know* about these people. Second, none of the Labour non-doms are pumping all their tax savings into marginal seats in an attempt to win the election. I wouldn't describe the Labour Party as lily-white on this, but the Tories are orders of magnitude worse, dishonest and much more heavily reliant on this "foreigner", whose input may win them this neck-and-neck election.

  • Comment number 82.

    "Oh, the top Tories protest, but so are several Labour donors like Lord Paul! Er, yes, but we have known about their status for some time, and Paul, while his non-dommery is not to be applauded, does not have the extraordinary power in the Labour party that Ashcroft has in the Tory party. He is not shaping policy, running strategy, influencing the likely future foreign policy of the land."

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2010/mar/01/toby-helm-lord-ashcroft-tax

  • Comment number 83.

    Sorry, this storm in a teacup is borne out of ignorance. "Domicile" is a matter of fact - you get your father's when you are born and it is jolly difficult to change it during your lifetime. Lord Ashcroft can be tax resident here and that is determined by where you live - but domicile is your "ultimate real home" - if he is a "Non-Dom" it is not the case that he can simply elect to become domiciled and pay tax. Law requires certainty and we should not vilify anybody because they are, as a matter of fact "non-dom". Most immigrants remain "non-dom" for a long time, and their children may be non-dom too - such an involuntary status should not act to disenfranchise them.

  • Comment number 84.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 85.

    They say that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Nuff said!

  • Comment number 86.

    8 - You've got that completely the wrong way round. Gaines-Cooper was claiming to be UK tax NON-RESIDENT. He lost in court. Ashcroft has accepted that he is UK tax RESIDENT.

    Most people posting on here have no idea what they are talking about.

    Gaines-Cooper also claimed to have CHANGED his domicile from UK to The Seychelles but has run into one of the hardest fights HMRC ever mount. That it is very difficult to change a domicile of origin to a domicile of choice.

    If you are (say) born in France to French parents you are of French domicile. If you come to the UK aged 18 and live and work here continually for the next 15 years, you will be UK tax resident but non-UK domiciled.

    For tax purposes, the UK authorities argue that to if you are UK domicile then to LOSE UK domicile requires severing ALL Links with the UK. You couldn't keep so much as a UK bank account. You'd effectively have to say you'd never be going back to the UK again in any meaningful sense.

    So the reverse applies to our Frenchman. If he keeps his French bank account, maybe owns a property, says he intends to retire there....even maybe buys a burial plot in France. Then there is no way the UK authorities would even attempt to argue he has lost his French domicile.

    So if our Frenchman has a French bank account earning interest and if he keeps any interest earned in that French account, he will pay no UK tax on it. That's just the way it works. It's not a 'dodge', it's not a 'loophole', it's the way UK tax law is written. If the UK tax authorities were that upset about it they could change it. You might as well argue that it's a tax 'dodge' that I am currently paying 40% tax. No, that's the rate of tax.

    Ashcroft has dual Belize/UK citizenship and is claiming Belize domicile as he was brought up there by a memeber of the civil service foreign office. He's claimed domicile of origin on that basis and HMRC are not minded to challenge this as he has considerable business and property interests in Belize.

    To be honest, I think Ashcroft should have admitted years ago what his domicile was. He is breaking no law, has probably paid more UK tax than every poster on here put together. In 1974 he bought a failing UK company for a nominal £1, taking on all their debts. He turned it around, saved it (and the 1,000 jobs) and 3 years later sold it for £1.5m.

    I'd rather we had a few more Ashcrofts in the UK and a few less of the whining posters we get on here banging on about a subject they have no knowledge of.

  • Comment number 87.

    Remember that Ashcroft was at first turned down for a peerage. He was only accepted because he said he would become resident for tax purposes -but he hasn't and Cameron has allowed him to get away with it. The man simply has no judgement.

  • Comment number 88.

    Is it any wonder that the British people are losing faith in our system when the BBC continues to provide this sort of unbalanced anti-Conservative journalism? Please provide equal weight to all the Labour 'non-dom' donors. Please, too, focus on the big issues (e.g. Labour spent all the money and have nothing to show for it but a generation of debt and no credible plan to reduce that debt). We must fix that before we worry about any other consideration, such as the mess that Labour they have made of our schools, our universities, the NHS, our employment prospects, our pensions, our police, our contryside and our armed forces.

  • Comment number 89.

    #56 graphis wrote:
    "If he's a non-dom, then it means he doesn't live here."

    Totally false statement.

  • Comment number 90.

    Lefty10 #52

    And why don't YOU look at all the posts pointing out that Labour are the worst offenders when it comes to non-doms.

  • Comment number 91.

    3. At 11:46am on 01 Mar 2010, Poprishchin wrote:
    "'Labour MPs have long obsessed about the man they accuse of trying to buy an election in a country in which he does not even bother to be fully resident for tax purposes. Their attack is blunted somewhat by the fact that Gordon Brown made Sraj Paul - a Labour donor and non-dom - a peer"

    Is this correct?,Lord Paul said on the news he was ennobled by the conservatives.

  • Comment number 92.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 93.

    This is just such an anti-climax.

    Now it's been confirmed what we all knew anyway and certainly comes way down the list of our concerns they can start naming the something like ten non-doms who have contributed to the labour party.

    I'm all for fair play and it's certainly been a one way tirade for the last few months.

    Typical labour hypocracy. Chris Hume also looked like he was throwing his dummy out of his pram. He'll have to find something else to whinge about now. What a lot!

  • Comment number 94.

    Good job your R4 colleagues are not as partial to New Labour as you patently are, Nick!
    A few minutes ago Michael Gove was ALLOWED to point out the substantial (more so than Ashcroft) New Labour non-dom donors.
    And Lord Paul himself said that there was nothing illegal in Ashcroft's actions, and that lots of people were in the same boat.
    How many Tory non-doms have been given PC status recently? How can you advise the Queen on the interests of the UK if you are non-dom?

  • Comment number 95.


    • 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’.
    • 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.

    All LABOUR donors. I don't see any headlines on the BBC about these huge party donors. It also appears that quite a few of them have considerable influence within the Labour party.

  • Comment number 96.

    #60 pdavies65

    However, total non-dom funding of the Labour Party is £10 million, with Mittal donating over 4 million.

    Do we know the tax status of all the Labour donors though? Not sure if they have declared their status, or whether it is based on guesswork. Time for some investigative journalism.

  • Comment number 97.

    Nick

    Your usual hypocrisy in not giving both sides of the story when Labour also looks bad is still breathtaking. Labour have taken over £10 million from non-doms. It might have also given you more credibility had you pointed out that Gordon Browns leadership campaign was funded by a non-dom.

    • 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’.
    • 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.

  • Comment number 98.

    I have just read William Rees-Moggs piece in the Times today and he takes the tradional and not unreasonable view, given the polls, that the election will be carved up between the the three mainstream parties, with the remainder going to 'nationalist' parties.

    In fact the three mainstream parties, Labour, Tories and Lib-Dems, are also nationalist parties, in that they believe in a nation named 'Britain', although Rees-Mogg chooses not to point that out.

    So the choice is clear in this coming General Election, support 'political' Britain via the three mainstream parties or alternatively, the constituent nations as they stuggle to be free of the Westminster clique.

    Sir Simon Rattle comes back here from Berlin for a brief visit and sees that 'Britain is in some kind of endgame'.

    I agree, and us English might consider doing our patriotic duty and hastening the end of the endgame and a new beginning for our England.

  • Comment number 99.

    Claiming non-dom status means that Lord Ashcroft is now legally obliged to pay only £30,000 tax annually on vast holdings, bank ownership, shares, and it is to be surmised a host of, as yet, undisclosed to the public pecuniary advantages typical of very rich people indeed.
    He has ruthlessly used the law to protect a reputation as an honourable man, and Lord Ashcroft IS an honourable man. That Lord Ashcroft should use a position as a head of an organization dedicated to celebrating servicemen awarded the VC only for its avowed purpose-yes, that would be honourable indeed. Lord Ashcroft IS an honourable man.
    That Lord Ashcroft should say he will become, (perhaps by Christmas?), officially domiciled in Great Britain AFTER the election surely is the act of an honourable man.

  • Comment number 100.

    41. At 12:35pm on 01 Mar 2010, lefty10 wrote:
    in order to show the importance of this story
    a profile of lord ashcroft and his role in the conservative party.
    very interesting reading!!

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Can we have a profile of Mandy's dealings and what influence he has when he has not even been elected?

    An answer to one question could get us off to a start.

    HOW DID HE AFFORD HIS £3 Million NEW SOCIALIST MANSION WHEN HE CAN'T SHOW WHERE THE INCOME HAS COME FROM?

 

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