Met Police 'considering' call to investigate 'cash for honours' Tory scandal

9 November 2021, 17:13 | Updated: 9 November 2021, 22:09

SNP MP Pete Wishart (L) wrote to Dame Cressida Dick to urge her to investigate the allegations against Boris Johnson and the Tory party.
SNP MP Pete Wishart (L) wrote to Dame Cressida Dick to urge her to investigate the allegations against Boris Johnson and the Tory party. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed it is looking into the complaint made against Boris Johnson amid the alleged "cash for honours" scandal.

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It follows SNP MP Pete Wishart writing to Dame Cressida Dick following a report which said 15 of the last 16 Tory party treasurers had been offered a seat in the House of Lords after donating more than £3m to the party.

The Met Police said no investigation has been commenced at this time, but confirmed it has received "correspondence relating to recent media reports concerning the awarding of peerages".

The spokesman said the force is "considering the contents of the correspondence".

On Monday, veteran SNP MP Pete Wishart revealed he had written to the Met Police chief, lodging a formal complaint against the Prime Minister, his predecessors and other Conservative party staff.

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The MP for Perth and North Perthshire, and the SNP’s shadow commons leader, wrote ahead of the Commons debate on the government’s attempt to change how MPs are investigated for rule-breaking.

Mr Wishart said he was concerned about “criminal misconduct” by Mr Johnson - who failed to attend the debate on allegations of Tory sleaze, due to a hospital visit in the north.

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He wrote: “I write to inform you of potential criminal misconduct regarding the procurement of honours and membership of the House of Lords.

“The emerging allegations, which have been widely referred to as the 'cash for honours' scandal, are deeply undermining public trust and confidence.

“These widespread allegations and suspicion of criminal activity need to be urgently addressed. I, therefore, believe it is now essential that a formal criminal investigation is now initiated by the Metropolitan Police.”

Speaking to LBC on Monday, Mr Wishart said the House of Lords is "probably the most absurd institution in the world".

He told Iain Dale: "The House of Lords is full of donors, cronies and policeman. There's a few people who are there on merit, there's a few great scientists that we see who come forward, but the vast majority in there are policeman and policewomen from the Prime Minister.

"It's total utter patronage. That's how you get in to the House of Lords - you can't get in by any other means."

The cash for honours claims came as the spotlight was turned on MPs' conduct following criticism over the Government's handling of the Owen Paterson lobbying scandal.

The Government tried to support the Conservative MP and reform the way standards are reviewed – but quickly U-turned after an angry response as their actions were attacked as "Tory sleaze".

Mr Paterson has since announced his resignation as an MP.