The Tories are desperately trying to distance from themselves from the Presidents Club after it was revealed women working at its men-only gala were subjected to sexual harassment.
Boris Johnson apparently “knew nothing” of the fact a lunch with him was among lots at the club’s now notorious charity auction.
And Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi, who attended the event, says he “didn’t stay long enough” to witness the appalling behaviour documented by an undercover reporter.
But the organisers of the “slimeball” event have links with the Tory party that go right to the very top.
Charity Commission records show that the Presidents Club has three trustees – David Robert Meller, Harvey Soning and Bruce Ritchie.
Two of them are major Tory donors. Meller and Ritchie have given the Tories £222,273 – almost £70,000 of it in the past two years.
David Meller, who has just resigned as a board member at the Department of Education over the scandal, has given £18,773 to Tory HQ and individual MPs:
Bruce Ritchie has given some £203,500 to the Tories, according to Electoral Commission records.
His last donation was £50,000 – the minimum donation necessary to be part of the Tories’ Leader’s Group, which entitles members cash for access meals with Theresa May and Cabinet ministers.
A document published by the Conservative party shows Ritchie dined with the PM less than a year ago:
Rather than trying to wash their hands of it, Tory ministers should have a word with their mates about sexual harassment and stop them from organising such an appalling event ever again…