The UK’s conservative party Tories has been accused of offering privileged access to senior ministers in exchange for hefty donations. It was revealed last week by the Financial Times that an advisory board of the Tory party, which consists of major donors, has been seen holding secretive meetings with the PM Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor.
In response to these accusations, the Labour Party came forth and asked the Tories to explain the purpose of their Advisory Board and its involvement with the government. To which the co-chair of the Tory party, Amanda Milling, responded by saying that every political party had the right to raise money to pay their staff and campaigns during elections. Milling also said that the donations received from these parties did not influence government policy.
Any money coming in from donations made to the Conservative Party is screened and properly declared to the Electoral Commission and published by them.
Another clap back to the Labour's accusation was the mention of a private club called “Chair's Circle” that connected the party to senior party figures by paying a fee. But unlike the Conservative's Advisory Board who has donated about £250,000, an annual donation of £5000 is required to join the Chair's Circle.
Ms Milling further defended the Advisory Board by arguing that without the presence of fundraising parties, they would be forced to use the taxpayers' money. This would significantly reduce the funds for frontline services that are already underfunded; which include schools, police, and hospitals.
The Conservative Party said that unless the Labour Party wanted a reduction in the funds going to the backbone of our country, they would have to tolerate the existence of groups like the Advisory Board that fund important campaigns in return for a meeting or two.