Revealed: how much cash Theresa May needed to throw half the population under a bus

Theresa May
Fréa Lockley

In January 2018, an undercover investigation by Financial Times journalist Madison Marriage revealed what went on when some of London’s wealthiest men assembled for the 33rd annual Presidents Club Charity Dinner. It threw light on endemic levels of sexism, sexual harassment and abuse amongst the privileged figures from “business, politics and finance” that attended the event.

Shortly afterwards, Theresa May claimed she was “appalled”. But now it’s emerged that just weeks later, she dined with the Presidents Club co-chair. And this has led to accusations that she was willing to throw half the population under a bus in return for a £50k donation to the Tory Party coffers.

“Appalled”. Really?

After the scandal broke, May said:

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I’m not happy with an event of that type taking place. I was appalled by reports that I read. What worries me is it’s not just about that event. It’s about what it says about this wider issue in society about attitudes to women.

For a moment, it seemed like May actually ‘got it’ and offered some solidarity to women:

But no. It was just more vacuous spin.

“Exclusive access”

As the Guardian reported, May “had dinner” with Bruce Ritchie, the co-chair of the Presidents Club “only weeks” later. It also emerged that Ritchie:

donated at least £50,000 to the Conservatives’ Leader’s Group (CLG), which secures members exclusive access to May at dinners, lunches and meetings after prime minister’s question time.

But it doesn’t stop there. Ritchie is also one of:

48 benefactors who socialised with the prime minister between 1 April and 30 June last year, with others including businesspeople who support a hard Brexit and a number of oil executives. In total, donations to the CLG amounted to £2.4m.

Names of the other donors are publicly available on the Conservative Party website.

Not surprisingly, the response to this news was scathing:

Sorry, what?

After the allegations emerged, the Charity Commission criticised Ritchie and other trustees. The Presidents Club was stopped from doing any further charitable work.

One year on, the Financial Times also revisited this story. One attendee said:

Theresa May apparently said the dinner was wrong because women don’t want to be objectified… That’s rubbish. Of course women want to be objectified. That’s why there’s a whole make-up industry and why women wear nice clothes. We [men] want to objectify women and the girls want to be objectified. So what? It was just part of the job. Girls love being wolf whistled at…

Surprised?

Perhaps it’s not surprising that May feigned outrage over the event, then headed off to dine with Ritchie. After all, she ‘found’ £2bn to buy DUP votes to prop up her minority government. And that, of course, came after the snap election she denied would ever happen.

It’s also the same woman who has led a systematic attack on the most vulnerable women in the UK since she took office. A UN investigation into poverty established that Conservative Party policies “disproportionately” affect women.

This latest evidence just provides more evidence of the disgusting lengths she’ll go to in order to stay in power.

Featured image via Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916/Flickr

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  • Show Comments
    1. It wasn’t just the $50,000 but the guaranteed access privately to speak with May. Democracy goes for a cheap price. Once she’s willing to do that then the donations of 2.4 million kick in!
      It would be nice to find out who these rich people are and do a profile on those who would be subversive to the spirit of democracy.
      These are the people who are throwing the English people under any bus they can readily find.
      Who are these enemies?
      May is just a tool to be used easily.
      Its hard to know what this May creature is, but being woman too narrowly defines her.
      A rhino can be a female but what does this mean?

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