The Scoop

Boris and Ken's donors hidden from public

Adam Bienkov | Monday 16 July, 2012 13:52

The names of donors to Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone’s election campaigns will remain hidden after donations to their campaigns were funnelled through their political parties, it was revealed today.

The election spending totals for candidates were released this morning by London Elects, but the names of individual donors for most candidates were not.

The Conservatives had previously attacked Ken Livingstone for using this practice in 2008.

Tory MP Greg Hands told the Evening Standard at the time:

“It is outrageous that London voters do not know who is funding Ken Livingstone’s expensive campaign for reelection. The whole point of these rules is to allow transparency yet Livingstone hasn’t declared a single donation given to him”

In the run up to this election Boris asked potential donors for at least £2012 in order to join his “Club 305” private members club.

Some donors were given the chance to “meet with Boris and personally share their priorities for London.”

Boris’s decision to funnel these donations through central office means that we do not now know exactly who these people are, or how much they gave.

In 2008, Boris Johnson did release details of his donations to London Elects.

Amongst those giving to his campaign were hedge fund chiefs, private hire company Addison Lee and controversial private equity executive Edmund Lazarus.

Boris later gave Lazarus a job on the board of the London Development Agency.

Boris’s decision to funnel his donations through the Conservative Party followed the collapse of his party’s own complaint against Ken Livingstone for using the same practice.

Independent candidate Siobhan Benita did release details of her individual donors today. Benita receieved £22,000 worth of donations, over half of which were an “in kind” donation from PR company Zoo Communications.

The rest consisted of a small number of cash donations from individuals, none of which exceeded £500.

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