Lobbying firms hand over nearly £ 2million to political parties, including a minister

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In addition to paying MPs as advisers, the analysis found that at least 23 companies listed on the official lobbying registry, or their directors, have made donations to political parties or MPs since the inception of the register in 2015.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis

Lobbying firms have handed over nearly £ 2million to political parties and MPs – including a cabinet minister – the Sunday Mirror can reveal.

In addition to paying MPs as advisers, the analysis found that at least 23 companies listed in the official lobbying registry, or their directors, have made donations to political parties or MPs since the registry was created. in 2015.

Among them was Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis, who accepted £ 16,000 from lobbying firm Avre Partnership.

In total, Avre and his trustees have handed over nearly £ 100,000 to Tories and Tory MPs.

The official register lists CityFibre as its only client technology company, which is among the companies bidding to upgrade the UK’s broadband infrastructure.

The Lib Dems received the most individual party, with £ 828,340 – although the majority is from the anti-Brexit campaign group Best For Britain, whose board includes a number of major party donors.

The Conservative Party accepted £ 744,508 in cash and sponsorship, with the Labor Party accepting £ 145,425.

The total amount for all parties stands at £ 1.7million since 2015.








Boris Johnson is under fire from his own MPs for the botched handling of the Owen Paterson scandal
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Picture:

Lee McLean / SWNS)




The figures do not include the cost of personnel loaned to political parties by accounting giants including KPMG, Pricewaterhousecoopers and Deloitte, which amounts to hundreds of thousands of pounds more in non-cash donations to parties.

The Sunday Mirror analysis compared data from the Registry of Consultant Lobbyists, Companies House and the Election Commission to determine which companies and directors had funded political parties.

Among the companies on the register, the biggest donors to the Conservative Party were linked to CT Solutions and Private Advisory – the public relations giant founded by Australian spin doctor Lynton Crosby.

Between the company itself and directors Geoffrey de Jager and Mark Fulbrook, the Tories accepted £ 320,000 in donations from 2015 to 2021.

Conservative Party co-chair Ben Elliot gave the party £ 12,000 while he was director of London lobbying firm Hawthorne Advisory.

A total of 13 separate companies and their directors turned over money to the Tories, compared to eight for Labor and four for the Liberals.

All donations were in order and correctly declared. There are no suggestions of wrongdoing on the part of business, parties or MPs.

A spokesperson for Brandon Lewis said: “All Brandon donations are reported in a complete, transparent and compliant manner.”

A Conservative Party spokesperson said: “Donations to the Conservative Party are appropriately and transparently reported to the Election Commission, published by it, and are fully in accordance with the law. “





Boris Johnson has been ashamed of his support for measures to crack down on second MPs jobs last week, after the number of politicians accepting money for ‘advice’ jobs was exposed.

But instead of backing Keir Starmer’s plan, which would have banned most secondary jobs, the Tories voted watered down measures that would only affect a handful of MPs.

It followed Mr Johnson’s botched attempt to save disgraced former MP Owen Paterson from a 30-day suspension for his paid lobbying of ministers and officials on behalf of private companies.



Speaking after the vote, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer told broadcasters: “We have presented an action plan to clean up politics and raise standards in politics.

“And if you can believe it, after two weeks of Conservative bashing and bribery, the Prime Minister has whipped his MPs against this plan of action, and frankly he just doesn’t get it.”


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