Friday, 5 March 2010

Aberconwy is not for sale

As the Conservatives gather for their party conference in Llandudno we've challenged David Cameron to come clean over which candidates' campaigns have directly benefited from the funds of their dodgy non-dom donor Lord Ashcroft.

We urge the Tories to be honest with voters - tell us where Lord Ashcroft’s millions have been targeted. Unless they do, the Conservatives actions are likely to further damage public confidence in Westminster politics.

My colleague, Plaid’s Westminster leader Elfyn Llwyd MP and the SNP’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson MP have written to Tory party leader David Cameron calling for answers and a breakdown of where and how much money has been poured into campaigns.

Here's what Elfyn has had to say:
The Conservatives have to come clean on which Tory candidates are being bankrolled by Ashcroft’s millions. As they meet in Llandudno, I think the people of the Aberconwy constituency deserve to know how this man’s personal fortune is being used by the Tories in an attempt to buy their votes.

Aberconwy is not for sale. Voters deserve the truth, attempting to buy them is down right insulting.

Mr Cameron should put his money where his mouth is. Will he practise what he preaches on transparency in politics?

Ashcroft does not play by UK rules but is still using the millions of pounds at his disposal to try and buy this election for the Conservatives.

My guess is that many Conservative candidates in Wales and elsewhere are benefiting both directly and indirectly from Lord Ashcroft’s millions – either through it being pumped into constituencies or through campaigns at their central office in London.

While this man won’t pay taxes here, he’s perfectly happy to try to dictate how ours would be spent.

Welsh voters will not accept being played like this. I just hope that people will make a stand and send a clear message that we want people representing us who will stand up for our communities – rather than the candidates who has the biggest cheque-book.

Angus Robertson MP added:

Bankrolled and run by London, Tory candidates cannot claim to speak up for local interests. Only the SNP will champion Scottish communities.

The text of the letter to David Cameron reads:

It has now been confirmed that Lord Ashcroft broke an undertaking to pay full UK tax in order to become a member of the House of Lords ten years ago.

Since then, he has donated more than £5 million to the Conservative Party, much of which has been spent in target seats throughout the United Kingdom.

Given the public interest in this matter and your repeated calls for disclosure and transparency in politics, could you please confirm how much money from Lord Ashcroft’s donations have been used to fund constituency campaigns in Scotland and Wales and in which seats?

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