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Page last updated at 06:40 GMT, Monday, 26 March 2012 07:40 UK

Internal inquiry into party funding 'not credible'

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The man who prompted the Sunday Times to investigate Conservative donors "cash for access" has described how it all came about because he heard a lobbyist boasting about getting her clients access to the prime minister at last autumn's Conservative party conference.

Mark Adams, a Labour party member who runs standup4lobbying, told the Today programme's Evan Davis that he was "disappointed rather than surprised" about the revelations.

The investigation led to the resignation of a senior Tory fundraiser Peter Cruddas after he was secretly filmed offering access to the prime minister in exchange for £250,000. And it has prompted David Cameron to promise a "proper party inquiry" into funding.

Mr Adams went on to say that the idea a substantial donation gets you the level of secret, private, access is "truly astonishing".

On revelations that David Cameron hosted dinners at his Downing Street flat, with people who had donated money to the Conservative Party, Michael Dugher, Labour deputy chairman, told the Today programme's Justin Webb, that there is an idea in Westminster that David Cameron is "too keen to use the idea of private engagement to hide what some people think are a bit more".

He called for David Cameron to publish a list of meetings he has had with party donors and senior officials and for an independent inquiry to be set up into party funding.

Mr Dugher said there needs to be "more transparency" and that it is "not credible" for Conservatives to conduct their own inquiry on party donors' access to the prime minister.


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