Guido has said it before and he’ll say it again: Ashcroft should just publicly come clean on his status. If he wants to take a substantial role in public life that is the price he has to pay. Presumably the Electoral Commission thinks there is a possible case to answer. Thinking about the set-up – as Guido understands it – he could well be providing his support to the Tories in the way he does via Bearwood so as to avoid having to use taxed funds. Guido has a hunch that Ashcroft is paying some UK taxes on personal funds he remits into the UK, if however he wrote a personal cheque to the Tories it would have to be out of remitted and therefore taxed income, this way it is tax free. This is just a hunch which could go a long way to explaining the set-up.
Whilst they are at it, the Electoral Commission might want to also take a look at the non-domiciled backing for Labour from the likes of Lakshmi Mittal, Ronnie Cohen and Swaraj Paul – which totals nearly £10 million. Wonder if the complainant, John Mann MP, has thought this through..