by Stephen Tall on March 1, 2010
This morning’s admission by the Tories’ single biggest donor, Lord (Michael) Ashcroft, that in the 10 years he has been a voting peer he has been registered as a non-dom to avoid paying tax on his non-UK income has generated a lot of comment today.
Let’s start with the facts. Lord Ashcroft, through his company Bearwood Corporate Services Ltd, is the biggest donor to the Conservative party, having given a total of £5,137,785.15. Lord Ashcroft made further personal donations of £111,726.09.
Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable named him as a ‘non-dom’ in the Commons in December 2009, asking Harriet Harman to introduce legislation “so that non-doms such as Lord Ashcroft can leave Parliament immediately”. The Sunday Times Rich List 2009 estimated Lord Ashcroft’s fortune at £1.1 billion.
Here’s what Chris Huhne had to say:
The Conservatives’ biggest donor is a tax-dodger from Belize who has not paid a penny of British tax on the vast bulk of his estimated £1.1bn fortune held offshore. This raises extraordinary questions about the judgement of successive Tory leaders – William Hague, Michael Howard and David Cameron – whose view seems to be that only little people should pay tax. The Tory party has been bought like a banana republic.”
And here’s what Lib Dem bloggers have been saying:
- Tories bought like a banana republic (birkdale focus)
- Is Lord Ashcroft’s un-taxed cash funding Cornwall Conservative campaigns? (Alex Folkes)
- Surprise, Surprise Ashcroft is a Non-Dom (Stephen Glenn)
- Tories largest donor IS a Non-Dom! (Qurban Hussain)
- Ashcroft – “Someone on your side did it too” is no defence (Mark Reckons)
- “Lord” Ashcroft admits he’s a non-dom (LibSync)
Please do add any links which I’ve missed, or published subsequent to this post.