IN 2006 it was revealed that every donor who had given £1 million or more to the Labour party since 1997 had been given a knighthood or peerage. Additionally, the then Labour government had given honours to 12 of the 14 individuals who had donated more than £200,000 to Labour and of the 22 who gave more than £100,000, 17 received gongs.
Now a millionaire, former Tory party treasurer with links to a high-interest loans company has been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, as have others who donated to the £40 million Tory warchest during the general election.
Henry Angest, who is a multi-millionaire and one of the Tories’ biggest financial backers, received a knighthood. He has given £7 million to the Tories in loans and donations
As chairman and chief executive of the Arbuthnot Banking Group, Sir Henry is also behind Everyday Loans, a company charging its borrowers an average of 74 per cent APR.
Also knighted was Michael “Mick” Davis, whose donations to the Tories total £1.4m, and who gave £160,000 during the general election.
Another Tory donor, Jeremy Isaacs, who has given a total of £416,500, including £25,000 during the election, was made a CBE.
That such honours are given at all shows the advanced state of decay of British “democracy”.
The UK “honours” system is an anachronism. Such honours are a hangover from the 19th century and have an unhealthy congruence to the donations that parties seek to attract. They should all be abolished.