Democracy must not be eroded, says Isles MP Angus MacNeil who has this week written to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police calling for more investigation into the links between Cash and Honours.
He has also written to the three main party Leaders – Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Leader of the Conservative Party; Sir Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party; and Sir Ed Davey, Leader of the Liberal Democrats – urging them to commit to stopping this practice.
Mr MacNeil raised the issue of Cash for Honours back in 2006 but it was decided by the Crown Prosecution Service at that time not to pursue this further. He raised it again in 2014 when the departing Lib Dem, Lord Oakeshott, bemoaned that he had not ended the practice. Mr MacNeil stressed that there is agreement amongst all parties that this is a problem.
The issue is now back in the spotlight with it being reported in the media this week that at least 18 people who donated £3 million, or more, to the Conservative Party are now sitting in the House of Lords.
In a letter to Dame Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Mr MacNeil said: “I think at the very least your officers should be conducting preliminary investigations and questioning those involved. Standards in public life demand that such a step is taken. If you, as the gatekeepers of Law & Order, look the other way on such matters, then this practise will continue and our democracy will be further eroded.
“I raised this issue in 2006, yet the practice continues today. In 2006, it was only on the balance of probabilities that the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to carry this further to the courts. However, the balance of probabilities may be different this time, however, we cannot get to that stage unless you are prepared to step up to do the public and the standards in public life a great service to the United Kingdom.”