Rothschild 'introduced oligarch donor to Tories'
Thursday 26 January 2012
Conservative Party co-chairman Lord Feldman told the High Court yesterday that banker Nathaniel Rothschild introduced him to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, right, during a holiday in Corfu.
Lord Feldman had been served with a witness summons by Associated Newspapers, which is fighting a libel action brought by Mr Rothschild over a May 2010 story in the Daily Mail.
Mr Rothschild, 40, is seeking "very substantial" damages from Associated Newspapers over being portrayed as a "puppet-master" who brought together Lord Mandelson, then a European Trade Commissioner, and Mr Deripaska in January 2005.
In evidence, Lord Feldman said that in August 2008, the last day of a family holiday, he accepted a social invitation and joined Mr Rothschild and MP George Osborne at the Swiss-based financier's villa.
While discussing British and American politics, Mr Rothschild asked about his involvement in the party – Lord Feldman had just become chief executive - and suggested that his friend, Mr Deripaska, could be interested in making a party donation, the court heard. Lord Feldman said he had not met Mr Deripaska previously and was not aware who he was, but Mr Rothschild explained that he was a Russian businessman who had been visiting him.
"I explained clearly to Mr Rothschild that there are very strict rules on donations to political parties in the UK," Lord Feldman told the court. "At no point did Mr Osborne or I solicit or ask for a donation, suggest ways of channelling a donation or express any wish to meet with Mr Deripaska to discuss donations."
He said that three weeks later Mr Rothschild suggested the possibility of him hosting a dinner for the Conservative Party. Mr Rothschild mentioned that Leyland DAF was interested in making a donation to the party.
Lord Feldman said: "I said that I was not sure if such a donation was appropriate... Later that day it was decided after consultation with senior party officials that it would not be appropriate to accept such a donation."
Mr Rothschild made it clear in oral evidence earlier on in the week that he stood by his recollection of the events in Corfu as set out in his letter to the Times on 21 October, 2008, which differed to Lord Feldman's recollection of events.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...
£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...