By Lamiat Sabin
Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to “drive big money out of democracy.” Speaking in Bolton the Labour leader revealed that PM Boris Johnson has accepted nearly a million pounds from hedge funds and bankers. Mr Corbyn announced a new policy to ban donations or loans to parties from non-doms and those not registered for tax in Britain. Cabinet Office shadow minister Jon Trickett is working on a comprehensive plan to stop big money “buying up our democracy” before outlining further plans in the autumn, Mr Corbyn said.
Mr Johnson has made £953,056.47 from hedge funds and bankers in donations and income over the last 15 years, according to Labour’s analysis of Electoral Commission data and register of members’ interests entries. Contributions to him or Conservative Associations in his Henley and Uxbridge seats make up £730,000, and speeches to banks in Europe and the US make up the remaining £233,056. He received £100,000 in June from Ipex Capital chairman Jonathan Moynihan, who also chaired the Vote Leave finance committee.
In the same month, he accepted £10,000 from hedge fund manager Robin Crispin Odey, who is short-selling the sterling in expectation of a slide in the value of the pound in the event of Mr Johnson’s no-deal Brexit — according to Labour. Last November Mr Johnson was flown to New York and was paid £94,507.85 for a two-hour speech at the multibillion-dollar hedge fund company Golden Tree Asset Management. He has taken £88,000 from hedge fund boss and fox-hunting enthusiast Johan Christofferson either from direct donations or contributions to Uxbridge Conservative Association.
Mr Corbyn said: “People are right to feel that politics doesn’t work for them. It doesn’t. Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party are captured by big donors, who are corrupting democracy. “If you have the money you can get access to ministers. Look at the fracking industry. But if you wish to protest against the frackers because it will damage the environment, you can’t get a hearing.
“We have to stop the influx of big money into politics. Politics should work for the millions, not the millionaires. “Labour is the party of the many, not the few and we do things very differently. We are funded by workers through their trade unions and small donations, averaging just £22 in the last general election.
“That’s why we will be able to drive big money out of our democracy.” (IPA Service)