Why Liberal Democrats want to see a cap on political donations

March 7, 2015 8:14 PM
By David Faulkner

Tony Blair is donating more than £100,000 to the Labour Party's election campaign.

Of course, he isn't short of money. Since leaving office Mr Blair has earned hundreds of thousands, if not millions through his consultancy company, Tony Blair Associates. Some of his clients will leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Mr Blair has worked for the government of Azerbaijan, where journalists critical of the state are routinely locked up. He has advised the government of Saudi Arabia, where people are still beheaded and flogged in public.

He has been cashing in on his contacts from the Iraq conflict and his role as Middle East peace envoy for a private business venture expected to earn him more than £5m a year.

The former prime minister has sold his political and economic expertise to two countries, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, via his consultancy. He also represents the investment bank JP Morgan in the region.

Those opposed to Blair's illegal war in Iraq are fighting to get the Chilcot report published so he can be held to account. He is trying to silence them.
All parties, including mine, have had trouble with donors who have turned out to be dodgy.

This is why Liberal Democrats support a £10,000 annual cap on donations to political parties to limit the capacity of wealthy backers to buy influence in the political process and access to leading politicians, and reforms to party funding along the lines of the report of the committee on Standards in Public Life.

Councillor David Faulkner
Liberal Democrat, Newcastle City Council