LONDON — A multimillion-dollar payday for a former British prime minister. A secretive group of wealthy donors with special access to top politicians. A party fund-raiser with close connections not just to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but also to Britain's royal family. Already under fire over lucrative contracts awarded to politically connected firms during the pandemic, Britain's governing Conservative Party is being battered by a litany of new accusations of influence-peddling, cronyism and profiteering. While no laws or even rules appear to have been violated, critics say that the accusations point to a troubling decline in accepted standards in public life and reinforce their contention that the system has too few checks and balances to prevent such behavior. This week, the BBC reported that David Cameron, a former prime minister, earned as much as $10 million working for a now-collapsed company created by Lex Greensill , a financier who had enjoyed a special role inside Mr. Cameron's government. That followed separate media reports focusing on the Conservative Party's supremely well-networked co-chairman, Ben Elliot, who, according to a source named in The Financial Times, introduced a new structure for party fund-raising based on an old principle: More cash buys more access…. Read full this story
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