The revelation that money from the City of London made up over 50% of Conservative Party funds raised last year may not come as a surprise, but it does raise some important questions about pressure groups and power.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism states that “The City has donated a total of £42.76m since 2005. Last year City money accounted for £11.4m, compared with £2.75m when Cameron took over.” This is bad timing for the Conservative Party who have come under fire recently for their city-friendly policies (see this excellent piece by George Monbiot, for example). It can be seen as proof that those with economic power can gain ‘insider status’ if they ‘pay the piper’, as it were.
The BBC’s Robert Peston also picks up the story in his blog, comparing it to the funds the Labour Party receives from its trade union links. He sums it up well by saying:
“when a party becomes as dependent as the Tory Party has apparently become on a group of individuals and institutions with a number of identifiable collective interests ... it becomes more of a challenge for a prime minister to demonstrate that he is governing for all.”