Miliband pledges to publish list of donor meetings

 
Ed Miliband Labour says more answers are needed about how the Conservatives handle donations

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Ed Miliband has said he is "very happy" to publish details of all meetings he has had with major Labour Party donors.

The opposition leader said he wanted to be "open and transparent" about his links with Labour's financial backers.

David Cameron published details on Monday of all meetings he had at No 10 and Chequers with Conservative donors giving the party more than £50,000.

He acted after the party's co-treasurer claimed major donors could get access to No 10 dinners with the PM.

Peter Cruddas quit after reporters filmed him saying those giving large sums to the party could also gain influence at No 10's policy committee, something the Conservatives have strongly denied.

'Proper inquiry'

Mr Miliband is continuing to press for an independent inquiry into the revelations, saying the internal party inquiry announced by Mr Cameron - to be undertaken by Tory peer Lord Gold - is insufficient.

Start Quote

We have got an issue about the way in which government is being conducted”

End Quote Ed Miliband

"Let's be realistic about what's happened here," he said during a campaign event in London.

"We have got an issue about the way in which government is being conducted, the way in which Downing Street is being used and that is, I think, what has concerned people, Downing Street, Chequers, the way that those government buildings have been used.

"That's why we need not just proper transparency from the government, we also need a proper inquiry, an independent inquiry in to what happened."

Asked whether he would follow Mr Cameron's lead and publish details of private meetings with major donors, he said: "I am very happy to publish and very happy to be transparent about what we do, who we meet... I'm very happy to be open and transparent about what we are doing."

BBC political correspondent Carole Walker said the list could be published by the end of the week.

No 10 dinners

After apparently appearing reluctant to do so, Mr Cameron revealed on Monday there had been four occasions in which he had invited "significant" Conservative donors to No 10 since becoming prime minister.

These included three dinners in his Downing Street flat between February 2011 and February 2012 and a post-election celebration in Downing Street in July 2010.

Details of meeting with donors at Chequers, his official country residence in Buckinghamshire, were also disclosed.

Mr Cameron insisted that none of these dinners had been fundraising events nor had they been paid for by the taxpayer and that he had known most of those attending "for many years."

In future, Mr Cameron said the Conservatives would publish details of all meals with donors, whether at No 10 or Chequers, on a quarterly basis as well as a register of all meetings with those who have given money.

Spending limits

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is attending a nuclear summit in South Korea, said there was "nothing wrong" with party leaders meeting financial backers and raising money themselves for their party.

"It is an entirely legitimate thing to do," the Lib Dem leader said. "What we need to make sure is that it is done in an entirely appropriate and transparent manner and that we reform party funding so there is no shred of doubt left in the public's mind that everything is done in a proper and above-board way."

Campaigners for reform of party funding said there was a need for "real leadership" to break the deadlock over the issue.

Peter Facey, from Unlock Democracy, said three crucial steps were needed to increase public confidence.

"We believe there should be an annual cap on donations which is to be phased over an electoral cycle, to allow the parties to cope with the transition," he said.

"The national spending limits during an election should be lowered so that parties do not bankrupt themselves trying to outspend their rivals in marginal seats.

"Finally, the way in which trade unions collect and pay affiliation fees needs to be reformed."

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 133.

    Why is it such a surprise when this whole issue is aired by a NI paper. Did the Tories not see this coming after opening up the bowels of NI for public surgical review? There will be other controversial exposures. Sit tight everyone and don't get too engaged for a newspaper exposing the blindingly obvious. Osborne being asked if he had bought anything from Greggs shows us where we are

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 132.

    Lets be honest every political party is beholden to someone for finance and support. Even Alex Salmond is friendly with Murdoch (and formerly Fred Goodwin.)

    I will admit it is particularly creepy when the tories are at it though dear and I imagine Brendan Barber costs less to wine and dine, as I imagine he subsist entirely on episodes of minder and Ginsters baked goods.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 131.

    Re: 123 Its not the party PR boys who are posting nonsense here - the whole thing has been infiltrated by Rupert the Bear's hackers! :)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 130.

    When?
    Cameron did it after a day. Its now almost Wednesday!
    Is Miliband editing the list? What does Miliband have to hide?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 129.

    I hope the BBC presses Miliband on this because he's promised to publish details of these meetings before, and hasn't. Specifically he promised he would publish names of people who were at a meal he attended with Roland Rudd, and a number of weeks after that promise he has failed to release these names.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 128.

    Can you take any of them seriously? DC and NC are still in short trousers and EM comes over as a cross between Rowan Atkinson and Bernie Winters. Time to take the parties out of politics.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 127.

    As a ex-chairman of the (unite) branch in my workplace, i recently resigned due to unite's obession with the labour party and public sector workers. I and my felow colleuges pay a minimum of £139 per annum to unite, (a lot more than pensioners losing £88). I agree in the law being changed to make it optional for every union member to decide, however the labour party / unions do NOT want that.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 126.

    What is wrong with a fund raising dinner? Lots of charities have them! It is better than a compulsory levy on the workers when they join a union. How much influence do union leaders have on Labour Policies?
    Cruddas is an idiot who would be better off selling second hand cars, but Ed, people is glass houses etc.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 125.

    I don't buy Dan Barnes attempt to stir up trouble for the Tories - clearly he is the PR person incognito. The real question is why we have parties at all and why some people are daft enough to suggest that they should be funded out of the public purse. Set a maximum of £1K from any person or organisation.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 124.

    Dear Edward,

    So Mr. Cadbury's Parrot feels left out now?

    "Oooh ooh, Iet me publish my list of dinner guests too...."

    Nobody cares who came to dinner with you though mate because you're an idiot and an 'also ran'.

    When you offer some policies of your own and stop jumping on every Tory bashing bandwagon that comes along people might start to take you seriously.

    Regards.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 123.

    The Conservative Party clearly have a lot of questions to answer. Stop worrying about the other parties until they have senior figure caught offering access for money.

    BTW I love it when PRs leave comments. They are only distinguishable from the real thing by their heavy 'angle' used to deflect the story ("Look at them instead, they're AWFUL") and insane level of bias they display.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 122.

    Labour's funding by the unions is the major issue highlighted by this affair. The unions remain our country's Enemy Within - and to have the largest opposition party funded and controlled by them is extremely dangerous.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 121.

    How much did the Labour Party receive from Unite - the union that is trying to bring the nation to its knees and got Ed elected to leader against the wishes of the majority of Party members?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 120.

    For those of you who think that Mr Ed and co are funded only by unions then cast your minds back to Mr Tony and Mr Ecclestone ( and the many others that the BBC convieniently forgot to mention!) Pot, kettle black, a now familar saying as far as the red party is concerned!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 119.

    You should understand that no union ever voted on my behalf as I was never asked by anyone. As soon as I found out that my vote went for labour I resigned, OK I allegedly lost the protection (!) for what it was worth not much I reckon. At least the tories tell you what they are going to do and do not rack up dozens of stealth taxes.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 118.

    "115.honestyproject

    "The higher the number of informed people freely donating to your party, the better... The problem comes when a very small number of people control huge donations. That is undemocratic...

    I'll wager that most Union members are even well informed enough to know that their union dues go towards Labour next election campaign!!!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 117.

    Rules for BBC News coverage:

    1. We all pay the Entertainment Tax, whether we watch BBC or not, so we don't really care what you think..
    2. The BBC support the Labour Party ( ask the head if you don't believe me).
    3. Bad news for Government; top of news. Good news for government; item 7 at least. (Just reverse when our party is in power(.
    2. 40% of Union members vote Tory?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 116.

    The Labour Party was formed to give us ordinary working people a voice.
    We ordinary working people fund the party with a small annual amount.
    This is the party that gave us the National Health, Social Security, Council Houses, indoor bathrooms, minimum wage, maximum working week, maternity leave, paternity leave, worth every penny.
    The Tories get their money from the rich they get tax cuts!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 115.

    The higher the number of informed people freely donating to your party, the better. It doesn't matter whether it's private money directly given, or donated through a Trade Union, Church, Women's Instutute. Participation is a good thing - apathy is terrible.
    The problem comes when a very small number of people control huge donations. That is undemocratic and means policies are traded for cash.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 114.

    They are all as bad as each other,their parties I mean and money is the reason.The whole of society the world over needs overhauled and that will never change.MONEY MONEY MONEY!!!!!!!!!!

 

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