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Fidelity heads Tory donor list

Fidelity heads a host of financial services industry names donating to a resurgent Conservative party.

The latest donor lists, published by the Electoral Commission, show that Fidelity has made £75,000-worth of donations to the Conservative party in the past year, totalling almost £500,000 since 2004.

Pearl Group chief executive Hugh Osmond donated £76,000 to the Tories on March 5 and Towergate Financial Services chairman Patrick Snowball donated £2,500 to the party in September 2007.

A report by Parliamentary commissioner for standards John Lyon, published last month, also revealed that Edeus, John Charcol and Goldsmith Williams had paid at least £1,000 each to help fund a research project for the Tories. Edeus says it paid £5,000.

Lyon’s report, prompted by complaints into the funding of Conservative shadow offices, found the firms donated funds to the office of Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps.

A John Charcol spokesman says: “We were working with a group of people from the financial services industry to support the opposition in developing its housing policy.”

Edeus chief executive Michael Bolton says: “We felt it was appropriate to help fund alternative and additional research into areas of the UK housing market such as helping firsttime buyers and regulation.”

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