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Just hours after voting to freeze millions of people’s benefits for another year, Theresa May reportedly scoffed lobster at a secret banquet with numerous super-rich fat cats who all donated at least £50,000 for the privilege of attending.
According to The Mirror, the Prime Minister has been accused of attempting to hide details of the lavish dinner in order to cover up her links to several of the billionaires reportedly in attendance.
The event is said to have taken place less than three weeks ago at an ‘intimate private venue near Westminster’.
Donors who gave over £50,000 to the Tories (almost equal to an entire year worth of earnings for two average full-time workers in this country) are entitled to join May at private meals, perfectly illustrating how only those with money are essentially allowed to buy favours in this country.
Despite David Cameron promising the Tories would publish a list every three months detailing exactly who has attended these lavish ‘Leader’s Group’ dinners, Theresa May has so far failed to publish any this year.
Labour has reportedly written to the Tory Party Chairman, Patrick McLoughlin, demanding that the Tories publish the latest list.
In a letter to the Tory bigwigs, Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, Jon Trickett wrote:
Access to power should not be about how big your wallet is.
A functioning democracy is not one that allows the super-rich to buy influence in the governing Party without any transparency.
The Mirror reports that a source close to Tory Party elites told them that the latest guest list included some high-profile Tory donors who have attended Leaders’ Group meals before.
Some of the names include billionaire hedge-fund manager, Sir Michael Hintze, a top Brexit backer who has given £4 million in donations to the Tories
Just three weeks after May’s election humiliation he gave the Tories a whopping £277,000. Hintze is Britain’s 102nd richest person, sitting on a fortune of £1.28 billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
Hintze is also long time party donor, and when the Tories were in opposition he gave thousands in individual donations to Tory MPs: many of whom are now running the country, including May herself, Brexit Secretary David Davis, and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
Another donor reportedly in attendance was Sir Michael Heller, the Chairman of London & Associated Properties – a company who have a wide range of investments, from shopping centres, to London’s Brixton Market. His company also owns 42% of Bisichi Mining, which mines coal in South Africa.
Heller is also the director of the firm Clerewell Limited, which gave the Tories almost £70,000 during the 2017 general election campaign.
Both he and Hintze were conveniently awarded knighthoods by former Tory Prime Minister David Cameron after their 2010 election victory.
Another multi-millionaire, Charles Wigoder, who has donated around £380,000 to the Tories and is in the top 600 richest Brits, is also reportedly on the list of attendees.
Wigoder is the Chairman of Telecom Plus, a company that sells broadband, and other telecommunications services.
Arne Groes, the Global Head of Fixed Income Sales at French banking behemoth BNP Paribas, who splurged £103,000 to the Tories in a donation just two weeks before election day, was another on the list.
The list also contains donors who have not been previously featured in Tory ‘Leaders’ Group’ declarations.
Some of the names include Mayfair art gallery director Ehud Sheleg, who stuffed a cool £250,000 a week into Tory coffers before election day.
Another name on the dinner list was former Barclays analyst and current B&M discount chain chief executive Simon Arora. He and his brothers, Bobby and Robin, are estimated to be worth £1.92 billion.
Arora, although named on the list, has not been previously recorded as a Tory Party donor.
Leigh is a Senior Partner at Cavendish Corporate Finance, a huge City finance group.
All the aforementioned attendees were contacted for comment. However none were forthcoming.
A senior Tory spokesperson refused to confirm or deny any of the details leaked to the Mirror, including if any notes were taken at the dinner or if government policies were discussed.
They simply said:
All donations to the Conservative party are properly and transparently declared to the Electoral Commission, published by them, and comply fully with the law.
Make of that what you will.
Whilst millions of Brits using food banks living in poverty, with wages continuing to decrease, with benefits being cut, with the NHS collapsing under the weight of a Tory manufactured austerity-driven crisis, and with hundreds of thousands literally dying as a result, the billionaire plutocrats who pay tens of thousands to wine and dine the Tories are getting exactly what they want from them.
Earlier this week bankers received yet another taxpayer handout amounting to nearly £5 billion, while the Tories crushed Labour’s proposal to properly fund children’s services at a time when at least 4 million kids are living in poverty.
Yesterday the @Conservatives voted to press ahead with a #FinanceBill that hands nearly £5 billion to the bankers, rather than accept @UKLabour's proposals to invest in our children’s services instead.@Peter_Dowd pic.twitter.com/5eSj44m70b
— Labour Treasury (@labourtreasury) December 12, 2017
While the majority of us bear the brunt of Tory cuts, Theresa May is busy scoffing lobster with billionaires.
It really does say it all.
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