Concern over Danny Alexander £10k peer donation
The MP who uncovered the Cash-for-Honours scandal has hit out at the hypocrisy of Danny Alexander, after it was revealed that the Chief Secretary to the Treasury accepted £10,000 from a wealthy backer who was subsequently made a Peer.
Today’s Daily Mirror reports that Danny Alexander’s local Highland Lib Dem branch was given £10,000 from nightclub empire Ministry of Sound, whose boss James Palumbo is reported to have donated more than £700,000 to the Liberal Democrats.
The donation was accepted on March 17th – but not declared in Mr Alexander’s register of interests until July 30th. Mr Palumbo was made a Peer two days later.
The revelations follow a similar row about Domino’s Pizza entrepreneur Rumi Verjee, who was also made a peer at the beginning of August. Mr Verjee is reported to have donated around £800,000 to the Liberal Democrats.
Commenting, SNP MP Angus MacNeil said:
“After all the attempts by the Liberal Democrats to appear squeaky clean during the Cash for Honours scandal, they are no different to the other Westminster parties quite happily awarding peerages to major donors.
“Danny Alexander must also explain why it apparently took so long for this donation to be declared – just 48 hours before Mr Palumbo’s peerage was actually announced.
“The UK parties have repeatedly failed to properly reform the Lords and the cronyism culture just goes on and on with no end in sight. It is an affront to democracy for Westminster to be stacked full of party donors and political appointees - when Scotland is able to elect just 4% of Westminster’s parliamentarians.
“A Yes vote for independence means that people in Scotland can get rid of the expensive and unrepresentative Westminster tier - which means better and cheaper government.”
For previous reports about Nick Clegg and new Lib Dem peer Rumi Verjee, see http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/Politics/article1198225.ece