Politicians reassess party funding problem

By politics.co.uk staff

Jack Straw and Francis Maude are among the politicians appearing before a hearing on party political funding later.

The committee on standards in public life, which made the initial recommendations on how to reform MPs’ expenses system last year, has not yet decided whether to hold a full inquiry into the party funding issue.

But Sir Christopher Kelly’s committee will hold an ‘exploratory session’ examining the current state of party funding before deciding whether to launch a full inquiry.

Sir Hayden Phillips, who chaired unsuccessful talks in 2007, will precede appearances by the Conservatives’ current Cabinet Office minister Mr Maude, Labour’s shadow justice secretary Mr Straw and Liberal Democrat deputy leader of the Commons David Heath.

Smaller parties and academies will then give evidence. The committee’s remit to review issues relating to party funding, and make recommendations towards changing the present arrangements, could mean it instigates a full inquiry.

The coalition’s programme for government included a commitment to tackle the issue. It stated a detailed agreement on “limiting donations and reforming party funding in order to remove big money from politics”.