That comes with a hefty price tag — usually a donation of about £250,000, about $350,000, to the Conservative Party, a businessman and donor, Mohamed Amersi, told the paper. Mr Amersi, who was a client of Quintessentially, also told The Sunday Times that he paid Mr Elliot to introduce him to Prince Charles in 2013. Mr Amersi’s foundation did not respond to an email request for comment.
When Mr Elliot or the party was asked for comment, the Conservative Party said in a statement that its donations had been correctly and transparently reported to the Electoral Commission, an independent watchdog published by them, and were in full compliance with the law.
To seasoned observers of British politics, the claims are wearily familiar. In the 1990s, some conservative lawmakers were accused of taking payments to put questions to parliament on behalf of companies or individuals.
While the opposition Labor party generally relies on union funding, it ran into trouble under a former leader and prime minister, Tony Blair, when it was revealed that ex-Formula 1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone, paid £1million. had donated, today’s equivalent of $1.38 million. The donation was initially not made public and was eventually refunded after claims it influenced Formula 1 tobacco sponsorship policies.
Britain has strict limits on general election spending designed to curb fundraising, and several attempts have been made to control donations and clean up standards in public life. Few analysts believe they are comprehensive enough.
“The different parts of the device are not very well connected because they were all created in response to different scandals,” said Ms White, adding that more transparency was needed, especially about party funding.