A Downing Street Spokesperson said: “Government policy is in no way influenced by the donations the party receives – they are entirely separate”.
This comes as figures from the Electoral Commission revealed that 13% of the Tories’ recent donations came from property tycoons and companies. The government was preparing to launch sweeping changes to the planning system that Labour says will remove communities’ right to object to inappropriate individual developments in their area.
It has now been revealed that 36 donations from developers were made to the Conservatives in the first three months of this year.
Most sums were paid to the Conservative central office. Labour’s analysis of declarations released by the Electoral Commission show the firms gave £891,984 to Tory central office and eight local associations – a sizable chunk of the £6,418,295 the party reported receiving in the first three months of 2021.
We cannot prove that the Downing Street spokesperson made a false statement when they said there was no connection between government policy and Tory party donations. However, there is a great deal of circumstantial evidence that such a connection exists. Under most administrations, assertions of this kind by a Downing Street spokesperson carry weight. This is not true under the Johnson premiership.