A controversial speech in which former Aussie PM Tony Abbott urged the UK to use “force” against migrants during the refugee crisis was the keynote address at an event designed to raise £350,000 to eulogise Margaret Thatcher, according to material for sponsors seen by Scrapbook.
Blerb for prospective corporate partners of the second annual Margaret Thatcher Lecture and Gala Banquet — organised (amazingly) by a tax-exempt registered charity — states:
“Our goal at the Second Annual Margaret Thatcher Lecture & Gala Banquet is to raise at least £100,000 in donations and net income and to secure pledges of support of at least a further £250,000 from the 400+ guests who will be attending this unique commemoration of Margaret Thatcher.”
Indeed, Evening Standard diarist Marie Le Conte reported that £50,000 of this was raised in just two minutes.
The VIP guest list (now removed from the web) is not only a Who’s Who of Tories from top Thatcher aides to current cabinet ministers but — ironically enough — of Tories who have complained loudly about the supposed political activities of charities.
They include Priti Patel, who launched a pre-emptive strike against charities as the government prepared legislation designed to gag the sector in the year prior to the general election, along with Conor Burns — who referred poverty campaigners Oxfam to the Charity Commission.
Getting into his glass house and slamming the door behind him, Burns is now a trustee of ‘Cherish Freedom Trust’ the charitable vehicle set up to run a ‘shrine’ to Thatcher and programme of Thatcher-themed events.
But thank god chief executive Donal Blaney is in the clear. Errrrrr.
Another political charity, eh?