Tories promise probe into donations 'cover up'
The Tories said they will investigate claims that they had failed to declare the true sources of almost £40,000 of donations.
A series of cash gifts between 2005 and 2008 were registered with the Electoral Commission as coming from a company called Unicorn Administration.
According to The Sunday Times, however, the money had been paid by Unicorn on behalf of a number of donors including Zac Goldsmith, now the party's candidate for Richmond Park.
The other donors were said to be Mr Goldsmith's brother Ben and property developers the Reuben brothers.
While the Tories were apparently informed of the sources of the cash, which came in five different donations totalling £38,950, they were not registered as such with the Electoral Commission.
A Conservative Party spokesman said: "It appears that there may have been an administrative error in registering these donations.
"Now that it has been drawn to our attention, we are taking immediate steps to investigate it and rectify the declarations as necessary.
"Clearly, there was no motive of concealment since all those on whose behalf Unicorn was acting have already been declared as donating to the party."
Party sources insisted that there had been no attempt cover up the donations and that all of the donors were individually listed elsewhere on the Electoral Commission's register.
But Lord Oakeshott, a Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said he would be asking the Electoral Commission to conduct an inquiry.
"Back-door gifts through front companies blatantly break the spirit of the law on cleaning up Britain's moneybags politics," he said.
"If the Conservative Party have nothing to hide, why not declare straight out their thousands instead of using the cover of Unicorn Administration? It is hard to see how these can be simple errors."
Simon Calder looks at communities fighting back against the poachers
Arsenal 1 Everton 1: Substitute equalises with six minutes to go
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
Guide dog mauled while helping owner deliver Christmas cards
The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
Icon or terrorist: Nelson Mandela’s complex bond with Britain
Deadly ice storm sees US temperatures drop to -29C
10 stone five-year-old taken into care
- 1 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 2 Turning up the voice of America
- 3 The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
- 4 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- < Previous
- Next >
£80000 - £100000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior C++ De...
£25000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C++ Server Dev...
£300 - £350 per day: Harrington Starr: Leading Electronic Trading Software Ven...
£23999 - £32001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: An independent ac...