Last Wednesday Labour was furious at the Tories for ‘offering access’ to the next chancellor ahead of the forthcoming party conference. Responding to the report in The Guardian that donors can pay £3,000 to meet Kwasi Kwarteng, Labour MP Jon Trickett accused the Tories of putting democracy up for sale:
The Tories are offering businesses access to Government Ministers for £3k a pop.— Jon Trickett MP (@jon_trickett) August 24, 2022
Democracy shouldn’t be for sale. We need big corporate money out of politics 👇https://t.co/iz42pdi6Er
Alastair Campbell commented, “same old Tories same old sleaze.” Transparency International said the move “reinforces public concerns that cash buys privileged access and influence in our democracy.”
Guido was astonished, therefore, to see Sir Keir’s own St. Pancras Labour branch simultaneously launching a fundraising auction to raise cash for “our General Election campaign and [get] Keir into Number 10.” One of the prizes? Tea for two with Shadow Cabinet member Jenny Chapman…
Admittedly the prize of tea with one of Starmer’s most senior colleagues stands head and shoulders above some of the other items up for auction, including a signed copy of Sir Keir’s 2021 conference speech that even his own team admitted droned on for far too long.
Politicians selling access to wealthy individuals is a practise as old as time, yet Labour continually gets on their high horse about it. £3,000 to meet the Chancellor of the Exchequer at Tory conference is a hell of a steal given Labour charges £5,000 to donors in return for dinners with Shadow Cabinet members…