Electoral commission to investigate Tory donations

By politics.co.uk staff

The Electoral Commission has confirmed it has launched an investigation into donations made to the Conservative party from a company linked to its deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft.

The watchdog will look into the operations of Bearwood Corporate Services (BCS), which has donated close to £5 million to the party.

A spokeswoman for the commission said: “The commission has begun a formal investigation into whether there has been any failure to comply with the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 in connection with a number of donations made to the Conservative party from Bearwood Corporate Services.”

Under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, donations to political parties can only come from companies registered in the UK which continue to trade.

The Conservative party has said its compliance unit had approved the donations, adding that they were “legal and permissible”.

Speaking about the investigation, Labour MP John Mann, however, told the BBC: “It raises questions about the running of the Conservative party at the highest level because they have been accepting this money. It is extremely serious.”