(2009) Conservative Lord Laidlaw

An announcement was made from Monaco about a tax exile peer who has stopped bankrolling the Tories to “spare David Cameron embarrassment.”

Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay has lent or donated around £5 million to the party, even though he is based in Monaco to avoid paying tax in Britain. Now the 66-year-old peer — caught taking part in an orgy with prostitutes last year — has decided to end his financial backing “until he has sorted out his tax issues.”

The multi-millionaire tycoon has been rebuked by the watchdog Lords Appointments Commission for failing to keep his promise when he was ennobled in 2004 to register as a UK resident. Faced with an estimated tax bill of £50 million, he chose to suspend his membership of the Lords in 2007.

The affair has been a running sore for the Tories because Lord Laidlaw, who almost single-handedly bankrolled the party in Scotland, was seen as having been given a peerage because of his financial support.

Electoral Commission figures show the Tories continued to accept donations from him last year, including £25,000 to Boris Johnson’s campaign to become London mayor.

The financial arrangements of members of the Lords were already in the spotlight after four Labour peers were accused of offering to change laws in return for cash. 

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