We need to have transparency in political finance – here’s why


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We do not therefore know all the commercial interests behind these donations. We don’t know exactly what these donors expect for their money because we don’t know who they are.

But that doesn’t mean we know anything.

For many years now my colleagues and I have dug into the black money that powers much of UK politics, and one theme is particularly consistent. With amazing regularity, if you follow Tory donor money through a Companies House entry or a land registry document or two, you quickly find yourself staring at minimalist public details of a business registered in a land register. overseas or a Crown dependency.

Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Gibraltar; Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man. They are often treated as a vestigial empire, which we largely ignore. But for those who want to bury treasures, these islands are a paradise. With minimal taxes and few transparency laws, they have become the go-to destinations for the world’s gangsters, drug lords, Mafiosi, Kleptomaniac autocrats, oligarchs and billionaires.

And what these places have in common is that they nestle under the protective wings of the British state. Just as the Britishness of the Falklands was defended by the Royal Navy in the 1980s, its brothers and sisters, tax havens around the world, enjoy diplomatic protection thanks to their constitutional link with a great world power.

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About Lillian Coomer

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