Daily Archives: August 24, 2012

Kiran Stacey

Asil Nadir

Asil Nadir

The row about what should happen to the money given to the Tories in the 1980s by the convicted fraudster Asil Nadir rumbles on. In this morning’s Mail, Lord McAlpine, the former Tory treasurer, said keeping the money would “taint” the party. He said:

It shames the Conservatives if they hang on to it. They have a moral duty to give it back.

He turned the screw on David Cameron himself:

The Tory Party has a duty to return it. It will speak volumes about the character of the modern Tory Party if they don’t do the right thing. I trust that David Cameron is an honourable man.

The former tycoon boasted in the 1990s of having given over £1m to the Tories,  but the party says the money came from his company Polly Peck, and had not been stolen. They say this despite reports of a 1993 document from the accountants Touche Ross to Tory HQ which said £365,000 had been stolen.

I have been talking to several Tory MPs today and it seems all this wrangling over the cash is starting to make them uneasy. Two of them said they wanted the party simply to bite the bullet and hand the money back before the row got worse. One told me: 

Kiran Stacey

The issue of whether to grant permission for a third runway at Heathrow is starting to become a festering sore for the Tories. Although coalition policy is not to allow it, pressure has been building for a while on the party to commit to reversing that decision if they win a majority in 2015.

David Cameron and George Osborne have been quietly persuaded that a u-turn in party policy is needed, but are unwilling to make that their public stance until 2015.

Willie Walsh

Willie Walsh

In the meantime the aviation industry is getting impatient. Willie Walsh made his frustrations clear in an unusually outspoken and personal attack on the PM in the FT this morning. The chief executive of International Airlines Group, which controls BA, called the lack of progress a “disgrace”. He added:

I don’t believe this government has the political will to address the issues. David Cameron seems a lot happier clapping and cheering for gold medals than dealing with tough, long-term economic challenges.