Tory official denies his own account of Nadir meeting: Brendan Bruce's book refers to seeking money from the tycoon. Now he says that is incorrect. Steve Boggan reports

A FORMER director of communications for the Conservative Party yesterday denied trying to solicit money from Asil Nadir - despite having written about the attempt in a book.

In Images of Power, Brendan Bruce described holding a lunch meeting with the fugitive tycoon 'in a (vain) attempt to extract money from him for Tory party funds. Naturally enough I was trying to convince him that we needed more money for the party's marketing programme . . .'

However, speaking from his home in France yesterday, Mr Bruce said he recalled the meeting but insisted money was never discussed. His initial assertion, that efforts were being made to 'extract' money from Mr Nadir, is potentially embarrassing for the Tories because the party has so far insisted that none of Mr Nadir's donations - totalling pounds 440,000 - was solicited.

In a statement to the House of Commons last week, John Major said: 'Donations to the Conservative Party are freely offered and they are accepted on that basis.'

Mr Bruce's meeting with Mr Nadir took place in May 1990 at Granby's restaurant in the Horseguards Hotel, a stone's throw from Downing Street. Mr Bruce said he was accompanied by an official from the treasurer's department at Conservative Central Office, but he refused to name the official.

'I was not there to extract money out of anyone,' he said. 'I was invited to go by the treasurer's department to explain what the marketing of the party was. Nadir had said he had some ideas and the treasurers invited him to speak to the man responsible, me.

'We didn't talk about money. If he had talked about money I would have stopped him and, if he had gone on talking about money, I would have got up and left. That is the rule. He knew he wasn't supposed to mention money and he didn't mention money.'

Asked whether the Conservative Party was trying to solicit funds from Mr Nadir at the time, Mr Bruce, communications director from spring 1989 to December 1990, said: 'I would not know. You have to understand the nature of the beast. There is a Chinese wall between the treasurer and the rest of Central Office. The rest of Central Office simply does not know about fund-raising. For all I know, you are a contributor.

'I did not solicit funds from Mr Nadir. The person with me (from the treasurer's department) did not solicit funds from him, either . . . Yes, I was lunching with him but no, it wasn't my job to extract money. The other person at the lunch did not mention money. It wasn't discussed.'

Asked why he wrote, apparently clearly, in his book that he was trying to extract money from the tycoon for Tory party funds and was anxious to convice him that 'we needed more money for the party's marketing programme', Mr Bruce said: 'I could have made it clearer that money wasn't discussed. It was my fault.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Health & Safety Consultant

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic and exciting opport...

Recruitment Genius: Project and Quality Manager

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Executive - OTE £20,625

£14625 - £20625 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role is for an enthusiasti...

Guru Careers: Financial Controller

£45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'