Scandal on Alleged Donations for Tory not to Affect Ruling Party

Azerbaijan, Baku, 24 October/ Trend , E. Tariverdiyeva, E. Ostapenko/ The scandal over the alleged donations for the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom by the Russian billionaire Oleg Derepaska will not affect Laborites though secretary of state Peter Mandelson's name is also mentioned.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown demanded at the beginning of this week to investigate the alleged soliciting of the Shadow Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne from the Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska to donate 50,000 pound sterling for Tory. Peter Mandelson, who also took part in the meeting between Deripaska and Osborne, was soon appointed Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, British media reported.

"The Conservatives will be most affected rather than Labour. Osborn is their shadow economics minister who is accused of soliciting illegal donations to his party - while Mandelson, who took part in these gatherings, has not been accused of doing anything wrong, nor was he in government at that point," professor Steven Fielding, expert on British policy, said.

The scandal broke out last week when Times published the letter by businessman Nathaniel Rothschild, friend of Mandelson and business partner of Derispaska which said that shadow chancellor of Tory Osborne asked Deripaska to donate to the Conservative Party. Andrew Feldman, responsible for raising funds for the party, also took part in this conservation.

This request is a violation of UK laws and conflict of interests, experts say. "The point is that as a European Commissar for trade, Peter Mandelson advanced a plan on reducing EU tariffs on import of aluminium," Times reported. Following last year's voting in the European Union, the tariff was reduced from 6% to 3%. Deripaska is a Russian aluminum baron. He owns company Rusal, leading producer and exporter worldwide.

According to the British laws, the foreigners are not allowed to donate for party.

However, Conservatives said that Rothschild's letter is "absolutely false" and described Brown's call to investigate the case as "desperate attempt not to let scandal subside". Sources surrounding Deripaska said to Interfax that the businessman has never financed any political party of UK and is not going to do so.

Analysts say scandal over solicitation will only affect reputation of the Conservatives.

The episode undermines the Conservatives claim to be cleaner than Labour, Fielding said.

Shadow economic minister has been shown trying to get money from incredibly rich individuals, expert said.

"May be the conservatives won't be representing people's interest, as much as very rich, billionaires' interests, when it gets into the government," Fielding, director of Centre for British Policy of Nottingham University, said to Trend by telephone. The Conservatives have been trying to present themselves much more interested in ordinary people and their lives and embarrassment, he said. The people will not trust the economy of the person who is engaged in such activities, Fielding said.

It will, of course, harm reputation of George Osborn and will not be good for the image of the Conservative Party, UK expert Rodney Barker said. "Until this crisis sparked off, the Conservative Party fulfilled its opposition role very well under the leadership of its leader David Cameron and it was more significant and obvious than the activities of the government," Barker, head of London School of Economics and Political Science said to Trend by telephone.

Since the crisis broke out, the conservatives became less active as during national threats opposition party should be careful. This scandal will harm the conservatives to a great degree despite they take lead in opinion polls, expert said.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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