Hester: Tory MPs urged to not take “tainted fund”

13 Mar 2024

EMBARGO: Immediate Release

The Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Daisy Cooper MP is writing to every Conservative MP urging them to not accept any funding from the scandal-ridden Frank Hester. 

It comes as Mr Hester donated £10 million to the Conservatives and reportedly said the MP Diane Abbott made him want to "hate all black women.''

The most recent Register of Interests shows Rishi Sunak declared a £15,900 donation from The Phoenix Partnership (TPP) - owned by Frank Hester - for a "helicopter to fly to a political visit."

In the letter the Liberal Democrats will call on Conservative MPs to return any funding they have received from Hester, refuse any future funding and condemn his remarks publicly.

Commenting Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

“Conservative MPs across the country have a chance to show integrity and distance themselves from this outrageous scandal. 

“It’s bitterly disappointing that the Conservative Party has flat out refused to return these donations despite these comments being inexcusable and racist. MPs should take matters into their own hands and act.

“Above all, Conservative MPs must not be allowed to get away with funding their campaigns on this tainted fund.” 


Notes to Editors: 

Letter to Conservative MPs: 

Dear Members of the Conservative Parliamentary Party,

I am writing to you with the utmost urgency regarding donations from Frank Hester to the Conservative Party.

As you will be aware, it was reported by the Guardian that Mr Hester allegedly made racist comments about Diane Abbott MP. These comments were disgusting and inexcusable, but also intimidatory in nature due to a reference to violence.

Just weeks ago, your leader, Rishi Sunak stood on the steps of Downing Street and spoke out against hatred and division, rightfully pointing to the “toxic” intimidation that too many MPs face. 

No Member of Parliament, regardless of party, should be content to fight an election on money that has come from this person. It is bitterly disappointing that Ministers have stood up and refused to return such funding. 

In the interest of keeping integrity in politics, I am asking you to confirm: 

  1. If you have received donations associated with Frank Hester’s, you will return it in full 

  2. You will refuse to take any funding associated with Frank Hester and will seek clarification that your constituency campaign will not benefit from it 

  3. You will condemn Frank Hester's remarks publicly and speak out against any future donations or peerage

I look forward to hearing from you. 

Yours sincerely, 

Daisy Cooper MP, Deputy Leader, Liberal Democrats




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