PRIME MINISTER Cameron admitted yesterday that major Tory Party donors have been invited to dinner in Downing Street on four occasions since 2010.
He said: ‘In the two years I have been Prime Minister, there have been three occasions on which significant donors have come to a dinner in my flat.’
On a fourth occasion, Cameron added, donors were present at a post-election celebration in Downing Street in July 2010.
Downing Street announced later that Cameron’s guests were former Tory treasurer, Michael Spencer, with his partner, businessman David Rowland – who has given more than £4m to the party since 2009 – and his wife, plus oil executive Ian Taylor and his wife, and banker Henry Angest and his wife.
However, Cameron made no mention of Chequers, his country residence, although it is understood that several major donors to the Tory Party have attended events there with Cameron that have not been disclosed in official records.
Cameron’s spokeswoman claimed it was proper that such meetings were not disclosed.
Cameron made his statement yesterday to try to quell the row following the filming of Tory Party Treasurer, Peter Cruddas, boasting that things will ‘open up’ for anybody willing to donate £250,000 a year to the party.
Cruddas resigned late on Saturday night after being filmed by undercover reporters working for Murdoch’s Sunday Times, posing as foreign donors.
Meanwhile, the Tory Party website openly offers donors the opportunity to attend dinners and other events with Cameron and senior Tory figures by joining one of its ‘donor clubs’.
The Leader’s Group (annual membership £50,000), is described as the ‘premier supporter group’, with members ‘invited to join David Cameron and other senior figures from the Conservative Party at dinners, post-PMQ lunches, drinks receptions, election result events and important campaign launches’.
Treasurers’ Group members (£25,000), are ‘invited to join senior figures from the Conservative Party at dinners, lunches, drinks receptions, election result events and important campaign launches’.
The Renaissance Forum (£10,000), is for the party’s ‘closest supporters to enjoy dinners and political debate with eminent speakers from the world of business and politics’.