The wheels haven’t come off the Tory machine — but their is now audible creaking along with signs that discipline is breaking down. First up, a top Tory donor describes the campaign as “useless” to Andrew Neil (this went viral last night): Spoke to major Tory donor tonight. "Tory campaign useless. Cameron's heart not in it. Not […]

A Conservative MP has retreated from a pledge to return £5,000 from a tax-evading donor — after Tory colleagues refused to hand back £20,000 from the same man and another involved in the scheme. Charlotte Leslie leads The Times’ special election section with a glowing article on her rejecting cash from Hugh Sloane, whose company Sloane Robinson Investment Services was ordered to […]

Running the gauntlet of cameras outside the Conservative Party’s main pre-election fundraiser last night, numerous male guests were snapped arriving in dinner jackets and bow ties. But senior Tory politicians were not among their number, it seems. Posing for a selfie with a member of the ball committee, David Cameron — who is so desperate to shake his toff image that he considered shunning the […]

A fixer at the centre of a controversial £1bn property deal overseen by Boris Johnson was accorded elite-level donor status by the Conservative Party — and invited to attend “Leaders’ Group” dinners with top Tories, according to transparency registers. Businesswoman Xuelin Black (now Lady Xuelin Bates) acted as an adviser to Chinese developers ABP. With the company revealed […]

A Commons aide to Tory chairman Grant Shapps appears to have channelled thousands of pounds in campaign donations via his researcher’s flat — using a legal vehicle associated with a controversial loophole in electoral law. Lancashire MP Jake Berry is one of just eight Tories in ‘target holds’ that have received a majority of their declarable donations from unincorporated associations, which can be […]