Tory chairman Lord Feldman accused of urging donors to give money to pro-EU campaign

Posted On: 
22nd December 2015

Conservative party chairman Lord Feldman has been accused of “directing” party donors to give money to the campaign for the UK to stay in Europe.

The chairman of the eurosceptic Conservatives for Britain group, Steve Baker, said Lord Feldman had privately admitted directing party donors to Britain Stronger in Europe in his “spare time”.

The Conservative party has pledged to remain neutral in the lead up to the referendum, which is expected to be next year.  

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But the Prime Minister has come under increased pressure recently to allow Cabinet members to campaign to leave the EU.

Mr Baker argued that after Lord Feldman’s admission, other Cabinet members should be allowed to help Vote Leave.

The Conservative party has said the party chairman will direct donors to both the ‘In’ and ‘Out’ campaigns.

Mr Baker wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “Lord Feldman, our chairman, has confirmed to me that he has directed donors to give money to the pro-EU BSE campaign in a personal capacity and in his spare time.

"He also tells me that he will point people in the direction of the Vote Leave campaign, but they are yet to receive a referral from our party chairman.

"Lord Feldman is a member of the political cabinet. His fundraising for BSE undermines the Government’s policy of seeking real reform before deciding how to vote. Now he has admitted this new part time role, shouldn’t the Prime Minster allow other cabinet members to help Vote Leave in their spare time?”

A Conservative spokesman said: "Donors will call Lord Feldman to ask how to support both the 'in' and 'out' campaigns. Lord Feldman will simply direct them to the relevant people on the campaigns. It is up to the individual donors themselves if they then chose to contact or support either campaign."

Yesterday former deputy minister Lord Heseltine warned that Cabinet ministers should resign if they want to fight for the UK to leave the European Union.