Political donations bound to cause Honours 'suspicion'
Wednesday 04 January 2012
Political parties' reliance on large donations from individuals or trade unions means there is “bound to be suspicion” about honours and other favours, a public standards watchdog chief said today.
Sir Christopher Kelly, the chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he could understand why people raised questions about party donors on the honours list.
In the New Year's Honours list, Paul Ruddock was knighted for services to the arts. He has given £500,000 to the Conservative Party.
Sir Christopher said: “I don't think it's a point about the honours system - I think it's a point about the way the political parties in this country are funded.
“As long as they have an arrangement by which they, the political parties, depend for their very existence on very large donations from rich individuals and organisations like trade unions, then there is bound to be suspicion about favours being granted.
“The present arrangement not only undermines public confidence in the integrity of the political system but it's particularly very unfair to individuals who are given honours for perfectly valid reasons.”
Asked if the situation boosted the argument for public funding, Sir Christopher said: “We have looked at this issue for a very long time.
“There are no easy solutions to it - if there were, we would have adopted it.
“The only way to prevent suspicion or the reality of political funding being corrupt is simply not allowing people to give large amounts. Our proposal was a limit of £10,000.
“If the cap was set at a low enough level to convince the public that the issue had been dealt with, then, regrettably, a small amount of public funding is inevitable.”
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Raphael Ravenscroft dead: 'Baker Street' musician who played the most famous saxophone solo for just £27, dies aged 60
Darren Vann: Indiana man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear more
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified secondary s...
£22000 - £36000 per annum + MPR / UPR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our cli...
£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...