While the only British company to be namechecked by David Cameron in his Manchester conference speech had donated over £4 million to the Conservatives, it seems the central party is by no means the only wing of the Tories to enjoy the largesse of digger company JCB.
Andrew Griffiths, Tory MP for Burton and feature on Cameron’s A-List, has received a whopping £60,000 for his marginal constituency in just four years from the heavy vehicle manufacturer and had already received £45,000 for his election campaign when he made a fawning reference to the firm in the Commons chamber.
Apparently flouting parliamentary rules by failing to declare this financial interests when speaking in the House and just five weeks after receiving the tidy sum of £25,000, Griffiths declared JCB to be:
“a British icon and a champion of the engineering industry…I intend to use my time in the House to promote engineering, and to promote the good work that is done at the [JCB] academy.”
Perhaps he should have invested some £267 of the cash in a copy of the parliamentary bible Erskine May, which states:
“In a debate a member is required to declare ‘any relevant pecuniary interest or benefit of whatever nature, whether direct or indirect, that he may have had, may have or may be expecting to have.’”
In the wake of this free advertising, Griffiths’ dedication to the cause was rewarded once more with his local party trousering a further £15,000.