Calls for PM to announce donor probe

Julian Harris
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DAVID Cameron was last night under growing pressure to launch an independent probe into the “cash for access” scandal as he admitted he had entertained top Tory donors at Downing Street and Chequers.

Labour leader Ed Miliband slammed Tory plans for an internal inquiry into the allegations as a “whitewash”, telling the House of Commons: “This is an inquiry into the Conservative party, by the Conservative party, for the Conservative party”.

Miliband repeated his demand for an independent inquiry into allegations that large donors were offered the chance to influence a policy committee at 10 Downing Street.

Cabinet office minister Francis Maude, who took to the despatch box instead of Prime Minister David Cameron, hit back by accusing Labour of blocking reforms during its recent 13-year spell in power.

Maude quoted former Labour general secretary Peter Watt, who had previously said: “My own party was the biggest block to reform”.

Miliband should “say sorry” on behalf of his party for blocking changes, Maude said, while lashing out at trade union funding of the Labour party: “Now they’re in opposition, their donors don’t just buy policy – they elect their leader!”

Further criticism of the Tories came from News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch. “What was Cameron thinking?” he tweeted. “No one, rightly or wrongly, will believe his story.”