'Nothing to hide over cash donations' - MP
PUBLISHED: 13:36 20 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:35 26 October 2009
ACCUSATIONS of sleaze and secret donations to top Tories have been refuted by our MP. Grant Shapps' department has been at the centre of a cash row in the national press – relating to around £25,000 donated from five private companies. The dad-of-three t
ACCUSATIONS of sleaze and secret donations to top Tories have been refuted by our MP.
Grant Shapps' department has been at the centre of a cash row in the national press - relating to around £25,000 donated from five private companies.
The dad-of-three took over as shadow housing minister last year, after money was donated to Tory central office by mortgage companies and estate agents.
The cash was used by Mr Shapps' shadow office to employ Sophie Jones, a researcher who has complied four reports into homelessness.
The 39-year-old said he decided to declare the cash and donors to the parliamentary commissioner.
But he added he was not surprised when the story blew up and was reported as "scandalous".
He told the WHT: "I'm not shocked, that's politics.
"Nobody asked me to put this out there, it had already been clearly declared to the Electoral Commission by the Conservative Party.
"So a bunch of people have funded a researcher who has done some great work which has led to the formation of the Homelessness Foundation.
"This has in no way benefited any of the funders, other than perhaps satisfying their collective social consciences and I can't see how this important work with the homelessness charities could be done without some outside funding.
"I've got broad shoulders, let's put the information out there, put all the facts on the table and let people draw their own conclusions."
He said that the way political groups were funded did need to be reviewed.
"We've argued that we need a better way to fund parties and it should be open and transparent," he added.
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