Angie Bray: Ashcroft's Funds are 'Small Percentage'
And warns Labour rival against throwing stones in glass houses
After questions were raised this week over whether Central Ealing and Acton prospective parliamentary candidate Angie Bray was right to have accepted funding for her election campaign from the Conservative Party’s controversial donor, Lord Ashcroft, Ms Bray has written to defend her campaign and to warn her rival, Labour's Bassam Mahfouz, "against throwing stones in glass houses".
Her letter is reproduced in full below:
But Cllr. Mahfouz should remember the caution against throwing stones in glass houses. His own Labour party has been in receipt of huge sums of money from reported non-doms’ (as they are called) who have contributed to its coffers as much if not more financial support than Lord Ashcroft. Lord Paul, Mr. Mittal, Sir Ronald Cohen spring to mind immediately. Lord Paul has even been elevated by the Labour Government to the Privy Council although he can scarcely be described as an active member of the House of Lords. On top of that some 63 percent of the total funding of the Labour party comes from the Trade Unions who demand a say on party and Government policy unlike Lord Ashcroft.
Cllr. Mahfouz also talks about money that should have been spent on schools and hospitals. But he entirely misses one more important point. Lord Ashcroft's money, like other non-doms, was entirely his own to spend. Meanwhile MPs, like our own current Labour MP, Andrew Slaughter, are funded to the tune of £10,000 per year, by the tax payer to pump out their personal propaganda in glossy leaflets thanks to the Labour Government who introduced the scheme called the "communications allowance". Now that really is public money that could have been spent on public services rather than MPs' propaganda. The Conservatives have pledged to put an end to this if they win the election.
Meanwhile the Electoral Commission has just announced that Lord Ashcroft's contribution to the Conservative Party's campaign is entirely legal. Cllr Mahfouz should get on with trying to explain to residents why his Labour Party deserves another five years in power after their woeful performance in Government over the past thirteen, rather than resorting to smearing his opponents.
March 5, 2010