Luciana Berger is shocked that Guido would possibly see a link between her pushing for property development tax cuts in the Commons and taking money from property developers:
“It is clearly defamatory to suggest there is any link between the donation to my constituency party and my question in parliament. My question in the Commons was motivated by a constituent’s concern about the availability of private rented accommodation. It was completely unconnected to any donation to me or Liverpool Wavertree Constituency Party.”
The notion that it’s all hunky-dory because the donation was to her local party and not directly to her bank account is laughable. And note that she only mentions one donation – we raised two. Now, while we have your attention Luciana, perhaps you could explain another donation that has caught our eye…
According the Electoral Commission in April 2011, Berger’s Liverpool Wavertree CLP received £5,000 from a company called ‘Purple Apple Facilities Management’. According to Companies House, as of 31 March 2010 Purple Apple was “dormant” and it was later dissolved. HMRC say “dormant” is a term for “any company or organisation that is not active, trading or carrying on business activity”. Now the problem for Luciana lies in Section 54 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. A company is only permissible as a donor if it is a company which “is carrying on business in the United Kingdom”. Purple Apple were not however carrying out any business in the UK. So why was Luciana’s team accepting donations from them?