Sat, 13 July 2024

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Conservative Co-Chair Ben Elliot Quits Hours After Liz Truss' Election

Ben Elliot quit just hours after Truss' election as Conservative leader

2 min read

The leading party fundraiser announced his resignation just hours after Liz Truss was elected as Conservative leader.

The senior Tory figure said it had been a "huge honour and privilege" to serve in the role to which he was appointed by Boris Johnson, shortly after he entered Downing Street in 2019.

Elliot had been credited with massively stepping up the party's fundraising efforts in recent years, but had faced criticism over his methods, which reportedly included setting up a group for major donors who had frequent access to senior government figures.

Announcing his resignation on Monday, Elliot said: "Serving as co-chairman of the Conservative Party has been a huge honour and privilege.

"I would like to thank my various co-chairmen, colleagues on the Party Board, the National Convention, the excellent senior staff at CCHQ and of course all our professional staff, members and volunteers across the country."

He added: "I would like to thank Boris Johnson for appointing me, and wish Liz Truss every success in leading our great country, particularly given the challenges of the winter ahead."

A friend of Elliot told the Daily Mail he had chosen to resign to allow Truss freedom to appoint her own chair.

"Ben's departure is a huge loss to the party. Fundraising is more important than ever in order to fund the party's campaigns and will be critical at the next election," they told the paper.

"He is going because he recognises that Liz will want the freedom to appoint her own chair, and wants to spend more time concentrating on his businesses."

His decision to step down comes just days after PoliticsHome revealed that Labour had urged the next Prime Minister to sack Elliot over "controversies" relating to his business interests and fundraising efforts.

In a letter to both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, Labour Party chair Anneliese Dodds pointed to issues around Elliot's luxury concierge firm, Quintessentially, and the donors club he reportedly established, known as the 'Advisory Board'.

And she called on the party to reveal the names of those involved in the group after repeated refusals in recent years.

"Whichever of you wins the leadership, you must no longer treat important issues of financial transparency with such flagrant disregard," she wrote last week.

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