The Tories have come to town and focus is on Brighton Pavilion, but it is the Brighton Kemptown and Hove & Portslade constituencies that should be attracting close scrutiny because of the funding they receive from ‘Tory HQ’. Because behind Central Office funding lurks the shadow of Lord Ashcroft.
And the question is being asked: “Does the noble Lord pay income tax in the UK?” or does his heart, and tax status remain in Belize?
The Independent today alleges that huge sums of money are being channeled into key marginal seats that David Cameron needs to win to see him elected as Prime Minister.
The Brighton Kemptown majority is 1,853 while in Hove and Portslade it is just 448, and both are in the top 50 targets. Both have received ‘Ashcroft’ money – cash allocated by a Conservative committee chaired by the billionaire Ashcroft.
Simon Kirby (Brighton Kemptown) and Mike Weatherley (Hove & Portslade) should do the decent thing and refuse this money if it is not clear (a) whether the cash originated from Ashcroft and (b) whether he is actually a UK tax payer.
It is not clear whether Charlotte Vere’s campaign is receiving similar funding. Perhaps she, together with Kirby and Weatherley, could put out a statement to help voters make their decision, not least because Ms Vere has been so outspoken about Caroline Lucas and her expenses.