Press release 21st Sep 2020

FinCEN Files revelation on UK political donations will fuel perceptions of foreign interference

In response to the FinCEN Files revelation that the husband of one of the Conservative Party’s biggest donors was secretly funded by a Russian oligarch with close ties to Vladimir Putin, Daniel Bruce, Chief Executive of Transparency International UK, said:

 

“These new revelations will only fuel persistent concerns that our political system is open to interference from foreign governments and other actors. Our research has found the public think wealthy individuals often use their influence on government for their own interests and there should be stricter rules to prevent this. To win back public trust, Parliament should legislate to remove the corrupting influence of big money from our democracy.”

 

76% of UK respondents to Transparency International’s most recent Global Corruption Barometer survey thought wealthy individuals often use their influence on government for their own interests and there should be stricter rules to prevent this.

Transparency International UK is calling for a series of measures to address this issue, including:

 

  • Introduce a £10,000 limit on donations from individuals and companies per donor per year.
  • Tighten the rules to ensure companies can only make political contributions from genuine business activity.
  • Introduce tighter controls on who can pay for Parliamentarians’ overseas visits.