‘Democracy for sale!’ Maajid loses it at cash for peerages in Tory party

Maajid Nawaz hits out at Tory 'cash-for-peerages' allegations

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The LBC host fumed as he recounted how an astonishing 15 out of 16 former Tory party treasurers have alledgedly been handed seats in the House of Lords in return for gifts totalling £3 million or more. It comes as the Metropolitan Police will not investigate the procedure after the SNP demanded an inquiry into the alleged sleaze.

Mr Nawaz slammed: “What is the going rate now? Three million pounds to get a peerage in the House of Lords after you become Treasurer of the Conservative party?!”

The LBC host noted how only one Treasurer out of 16, Sir Mick Davis, had turned down the offer of a peerage, according to the Sunday Times Insight team investigation in donors who end up on the Lord’s.

Mr Nawaz claimed how his anger and many others’ is rooted in the “building up” of scandals that have engulfed the Conservative party in recent years, from the Greensill Capital lobbying scandal involving David Cameron which saw the collapse of the firm and the near collapse of Tata steel, to the latest saga of MP’s second jobs.

He slammed: “People are tired, they are tired because they see that our democracy has been for sale!

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“The highest bidder gets to buy politicians, gets to buy legislation, gets to buy influence, gets to buy position in the House of Lords!

“You got the money, you can buy what you want!”

Mr Nawaz concluded by speculating that sleaze claims within the Conservative party have become “the main factor” that is leading to the decline of Boris Johnson and the Government in the polls. The latest Savanta ComRes poll suggested there has been a nine-point swing in favour of the Labour Party in the last week.

The comments follow a letter from SNP MP Pete Wishart who demanded Met commissioner Cressida Dick launch an inquiry after reports that 15 out of 16 Tory treasurers over the past two decades have been promoted to the House of Lords after passing the donation threshold.

Tory MP defends Conservative actions amid ‘sleaze’ controversy

In a letter to the SNP frontbencher, the Met’s special inquiry team refused to launch an invesitfation saying they had considered possible offences under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925 and other legislation. Det Insp Trevor Normoyle wrote: “There is insufficient information upon which to launch a criminal investigation.”

Mr Wishart accepted to decision but he said that the issue provided more proof that Westminster’s standards system is “broken” following a string of incidents in the past few weeks involving Conservative MP’s and second jobs.

In a scathing letter back to the Met, Mr Wishart slammed: “If it is not illegal to hand out peerages in return for millions of pounds in donations then it should be illegal – and it is absolute proof that Westminster is institutionally corrupt.

“The fact that Boris Johnson, and his predecessors, have handed peerages to dozens of millionaire Tory Party donors absolutely stinks and it is an appalling abuse of the system.

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The latest calls for investigation into the Conservative Party have been pulled into focus following a row over former North Shropshire Conservative MP Owen Paterson who was found to have been in “egregious” breach of MP standards for his role as a consultant to two companies.

The row saw MP’s vote to tear up the parliamentary standards by which MP’s are expected to abide by and install a majority Conservative standards panel. The government later U-turned on the decision amid a ferocious backlash and accusations of corruption.

But the row deepened last week as Sir Geoffrey Cox, a former Attorney General, was revealed to hold a consultancy law job advising the British Virgin Islands in a corruption case brought forward by the British government.

The job saw Sir Geoffrey fly to the Caribbean island over lockdown, without informing his constituents, and use the proxy voting system in Westminster to carry out his constituency work while away. He has defended his role and denies any wrongdoing.

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