POLITICS

Nick Clegg Told To Take 'Dirty Money' Out Of Politics

02/08/2013 09:26 BST
AP

Nick Clegg should shame Labour and the Conservatives into reforming party funding, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott said today.

He called on the deputy prime minister and Lib Dem leader to stop the next election being bought with "dirty money" like previous polls.

Lord Oakeshott said Clegg should not give the Tories a veto on the issue, claiming there is a House of Commons majority in favour of reforming party funding.

The peer spoke in the wake of the appointment to the Lords of major political donors to all three big parties.

Lord Oakeshott told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he wanted to see a £5,000 cap on political donations and tougher rules around election campaign spending.

He told the programme: "I am now saying: Nick - you are in charge, show some leadership, don't bottle out. You, Nick, are in charge of party funding and frankly we do not need agreement from all three parties to do it.

"There's a long history of this, we've been quite close to agreement, and the Conservatives have vetoed it.

"The reason is the Conservatives have the big money. Labour at last are facing up to it, Ed MIliband is actually being brave taking on the unions.

"There is a majority in this House of Commons, I'm sure, for party funding reform but we cannot afford to give the Conservatives a veto on it, as indeed with the House of Lords reforms.

"Nick Clegg has been very firm in the past and the recent past on it so now, Nick, this is your chance. Liberal Democrats who are appalled, all of us, by this behaviour, we're now saying to you, Nick, please take a lead, call in the other two parties, talk to them about it and shame people into doing it.

"We still have 18 months to go, we can stop the next election being bought with dirty money as previous elections have been."