Labour tells Tories not to hand out leaflets it says Frank Hester has paid for

Trending 1 week ago

Labour has written to Conservative candidates urging them not to manus retired predetermination worldly that they opportunity is paid for by nan party’s biggest donor, Frank Hester, who has been wide condemned for allegedly making racist remarks.

Hester, who has donated £15m, is bankrolling astir 40% of nan Conservative party’s nationalist spending successful nan election.

Rishi Sunak has been nether unit to manus nan money backmost since the Guardian reported successful March that Hester said to colleagues successful 2019 that looking astatine Diane Abbott made you “want to dislike each achromatic women” and that she “should beryllium shot”.

The premier curate faced caller calls to springiness up nan money connected Thursday aft nan Guardian revealed further allegations that he referred to a unit personnel arsenic nan “token Muslim”, imitated group of Chinese descent and remarked that 1 individual was charismatic for a achromatic woman.

Hester apologised for nan remarks astir Abbott successful March, while maintaining that they were not to do pinch race. All nan caller allegations were put to Hester this week. He did not respond to nan claims.

On Friday, Anneliese Dodds, nan Labour statement chair, challenged Tory candidates to return a guidelines against Hester’s money, saying astir 50p successful nan £1 of spending successful nan short run would travel from nan donor.

In her missive she said: “Back then, nan proposal was that Frank Hester’s words, saying that Diane Abbott made him want to dislike each achromatic women, were a one-off, and that his different comments – astir ‘the Indians’ among his staff, aliases nan ‘Asian corner’ – were misconstrued.”

She said nan Guardian’s caller allegations revealed Hester had a history of making unacceptable remarks “year aft year”, referring to a unit personnel arsenic “tinged” and subjecting unit to impressions of Chinese group arsenic good arsenic saying 1 personification was charismatic for a achromatic woman.

“Rishi Sunak and Richard Holden whitethorn not attraction astir this,” she said. “They were happy to return thousands of pounds from Hester conscionable days aft nan first allegations collapsed and they person been happy to make nan Conservative predetermination run overwhelmingly reliant connected his donations.

“But if they will not return that money successful ray of these latest revelations, past you person a determination to make. Will you do nan correct point and guidelines up to them?”

Dodds told nan candidates that if they did not, past “every leaflet you fold and each societal media advert you station makes you personally reliant connected nan money” of a philanthropist pinch a grounds of allegedly making racist remarks.

It was confirmed connected Thursday that Hester had donated an further £5m to nan Conservatives this year, arsenic good arsenic a further £150,000 aft nan statement was alert of his remarks astir Abbott. His £15m of donations successful full dress up astir 40% of nan wide £34m limit connected nationalist spending during nan twelvemonth earlier an election.

The Lib Dems called connected Friday for nan Conservatives to donate nan latest £5m fixed by Hester to a veterans’ charity.

skip past newsletter promotion

Richard Foord, nan Liberal Democrat defence spokesperson, said: “Yesterday it emerged that nan Conservative statement accepted different £5m from Frank Hester, a man who has made nan astir appalling racist and misogynistic comments. “Rishi Sunak must personally guarantee this money is donated alternatively to a veterans’ kindness arsenic an apology for his absence [at nan D-day ceremony] yesterday. It’s nan slightest that our veterans and work unit deserve.”

The Conservative statement did not straight reside questions astir what owed diligence, if any, it carried retired connected Hester earlier accepting further donations from him.

A spokesperson said: “Mr Hester has rightly apologised for comments made successful nan past. Mr Hester has apologised and shown contrition and we see nan matter resolved.

“The Conservative statement is funded by membership, fundraising and donations. All reportable donations are decently and transparently declared to nan Electoral Commission, published by them, and comply afloat pinch nan law. Indeed, specified observations tin beryllium made astir who our donors are, precisely because our donations are transparently published.

“Fundraising is simply a morganatic portion of nan antiauthoritarian process. The replacement is payer backing of governmental campaigning, which would mean little money for frontline services for illustration schools and hospitals – aliases being successful nan pouch of nan waste and acquisition unions, for illustration nan Labour party.”

Source theguardian