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Questions for Tories to answer on Addison Lee donor – Maria Eagle

17/04/2012

Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, has today written to Baroness Warsi following claims by John Griffin, who runs the taxi firm Addison Lee, to have been to parties hosted by David Cameron at Downing Street.

Mr Griffin was not mentioned on the lists of Conservative Party donors which were released by the Conservatives on 26 March. Maria Eagle raises a number of questions for the Conservatives and the Government to answer.

The full text of Maria Eagle’s letter is below:

Dear Baroness Warsi,

It has been reported today that John Griffin, who runs the taxi firm Addison Lee, claims to have been to parties hosted by the Prime Minister at Downing Street and at Mr Cameron’s own home (Daily Mirror, 17 April 2012, p. 4). Addison Lee has donated £254,045.58 to the Conservative Party since David Cameron became leader.

Mr Griffin was not mentioned on the lists of Conservative Party donors who have visited Number 10 or Chequers which were released by the Conservative Party on 26 March. We already knew that three donors who between them have given over £2.4 million to the Conservative Party – Lord Fink, Sir Christopher Gent and Paul Walsh – were omitted from the Conservatives’ list of donors who visited Chequers (Guardian, 28 March 2012, p. 9).

We know that Mr Griffin and Addison Lee have commercial interests in the provision of secure transport for ministers and in the use by private cabs of restricted bus lanes in London, and that Mr Griffin held meetings with former Transport Secretary Philip Hammond where these issues were discussed.

Ed Miliband has already published details of meetings and dinners, in his office and at his home, with individuals and trade union general secretaries who have given £7,500 or more to the Labour Party. David Cameron, meanwhile, has produced a list, which we now understand to be incomplete, of individuals who have visited 10 Downing Street and Chequers who have given £50,000 or more to the Conservative Party.

I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions.

·        On what dates did John Griffin attend events at Number 10 and at David Cameron’s home?
·        Who else was present at these events?
·        Were civil servants present, and if so what discussions were minuted?
·        Who met the cost of these events – the Government, the Conservative Party or the Prime Minister himself?
·        Why was John Griffin not included on the lists of Conservative donors who have visited 10 Downing Street or Chequers published by the Conservative Party on 26 March?
·        Given that it appears that the lists published by the Conservative Party were incomplete, will the Conservatives now publish a full list?
·        When will David Cameron match Ed Miliband in publishing full details of all his meetings and dinners, in his office and at his home, with donors who have given over £7,500 to the Conservative Party?

The question of transparency of party political donations is a matter of considerable public interest, and so I am releasing this letter to the media. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Maria Eagle MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
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