Political

Conservatives and money: what the Sunday papers bring

The Sunday Times has a round of various issues for Conservative Parliamentarians, including questions over yet another Conservative MEP’s expenses, though the case presented by the paper leaves some questions up in the air which might be sufficient to clear him.

It also has this intriguing snippet:

Alan Duncan, the shadow business secretary, also faces questions over a donation of almost £160,000 from Ian Taylor, an oil magnate whose company was fined for trading in Iraq in defiance of sanctions.

The company, Vitol, also has an interesting record regarding Serbia:

Bob Finch, Director of Vitol, a British oil company, paid $1 million to Arkan, a Serbian war criminal who was indicted in 1997 for crimes against humanity by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Hague. The secret oil deal, to supply fuel to Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbia, was struck during the raging Bosnian conflict and while U.N. sanctions were in place … Alan Duncan, former Tory vice-chairman, is also involved in the action as he is a close friend of Vitol’s president, Ian Taylor, and brokered a deal during the Gulf War between Vitol and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Guido has some pertinent questions about Caroline Spelman’s defence.

As an aside, it will be interesting to see what impact all the revelations about Conservative MEPs and their expenses have within that party. I’d expect the news to have added even more fuel to the fire that was already their European elections selection process – the one where incumbents were given special protection and the voting figures kept secret.

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