Outrage after city financier donated £500,000 to Tories days after being made a lord

3 June 2021, 19:31 | Updated: 3 June 2021, 23:54

Lord Cruddas donated £500,000 to the Tories
Lord Cruddas donated £500,000 to the Tories. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

A Tory who was made a peer despite the House of Lords' appointment watchdog advising against it donated £500,000 to the Conservative Party days after taking his seat.

Records from the Electoral Commission show Lord Peter Cruddas handed over the sum on February 5, just three days after entering the Lords.

Labour appeared to suggest the donation was linked to Boris Johnson's decision to give him a peerage.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner tweeted: "What do the Tories do for a man forced to resign in disgrace amidst allegations of cash for access to government ministers?

"They put him in the House of Lords with a life peerage and he coincidentally gives the Tories half a million quid."

Labour chairwoman Anneliese Dodds said: "Whether it's handing out taxpayers' money to their mates or giving peerages to disgraced donors, there is always one rule for the Conservatives and their chums and another for the rest of us."

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Mr Johnson caused controversy in January after he appointed the Brexit-supporting former party treasurer Lord Cruddas to the House of Lords, despite its Appointments Commission objecting to it.

It raised "historic concerns" about the City financier relating to allegations he offered access to then-prime minister David Cameron in exchange for donations.

A Tory party spokesman said: "Donations to the Conservative Party are properly and transparently declared to the Electoral Commission and are published by them.

"Fundraising is a legitimate part of the democratic process: the alternative is more taxpayer-funding of political campaigning, which would mean less money for frontline services like schools, police and hospitals - or else, being in the pocket of union barons, like the Labour Party."