MPs have called on Barclays executives to stop donating to American Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, following the "destructive" role played by the London bank in the Libor rate-fixing scandal.
A parliamentary motion tabled on Tuesday calls on Barclays executives to "cease fundraising for political candidates immediately" and to concentrate entirely on "repairing confidence and trust in the banking system instead".
The MPs say that at least 15 of Barclays Capital's most senior bankers based in the US have donated the maximum allowable individual donation per election to the Romney campaign and that Barclays' Head of Government Policy and Finance group has already raised $927,000.
Romney is due to hold a fundraising dinner in London this month, which initially was to be hosted by ex-Barclays boss Bob Diamond.
Seats at the meal are reported cost between $25,000 and $75,000.
Diamond, an American, decided to pull out of the event in the wake of the rate-fixing scandal that engulfed his bank and eventually cost him his job.
SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie, who signed the motion, said: "That bank chiefs, such as Bob Diamond, are part of the lobbying merry-go-round that surrounds the American Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is deeply worrying but should come as no surprise."
"There need to be proper avenues of accountability and scrutiny between politicians, the banks and the public they serve, not £75,000 per head fundraising dinners in Central London," she told The Huffington Post.
"The public footed the bill when the banking industry crashed and the only way their confidence can be restored is by a rigorous examination of what went wrong and how this can be translated into radical reform."
The MPs also accuse Barclays executives of not appreciating the "consequences of the actions and behaviour of the financial sector in causing the global banking crash in 2007-08" which "ordinary working people are now paying for".
The co-sponsor of the Early Day Motion, Grahame Morris MP, told the left-leaning blog Left Foot Forward that Barclays executives have had "their eyes off the ball for too long now".
"They must now stop fundraising for US Republican candidates and start rebuilding public confidence in the banking system here in the UK which they have done so much harm to," he said.
Romney could meet with David Cameron when he visits the UK this month, after foreign secretary William Hague confirmed that discussions had taken place.
"British officials in Washington are in contact with Mr Romney's team regarding his proposed visit to London in July and potential meetings with Members of the Government," Hague said in June.
Early Day Motions of the sort tabled below have little impact but do serve as an expresson of MPs' support for specific issues.
The Full Text Of The EDM
That this House notes that Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is to host a private fundraising dinner in London prior to the Olympics; understands that according to reports in the Financial Times of 3 July tickets to the dinner are being sold at between $25,000 and $75,000 per head;
Further understands that the event is being chaired by several senior banking executives and lobbyists; furthernotes that the recently departed Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond and other existing senior Barclays executives have played a prominent role in fundraising efforts for the Romney campaign;
Further understands that at least 15 of Barclays Capital's most senior bankers based in the US have donated the maximum allowable individual donation per election to the Romney campaign; further understands Barclays' Head of Government Policy and Finance group has already raised $927,000 for the Romney campaign; further notes the recent revelation of the destructive role Barclays has played in the international LIBOR-setting scandal;
Recognises fears that hundreds of thousands of borrowers and mortgage owners in the UK could have been adversely affected; believes that Barclays comprehensively failed to work in the interests ofits customers;
Furtherbelieves Barclays senior executives continue to not fully appreciate the consequences of the actions and behaviour of the financial sector in causing the global banking crash in 2007-08, which ordinary working people are now paying for; and calls on Barclays and its executives to cease fundraising for political candidates immediately and to concentrate entirely on repairing confidence and trust in the banking system instead.
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