David and Samantha Cameron arrive at the 2013 Tory summer party at Old Billingsgate in London. (Alan Davidson/The Picture Library)
Bureau journalists have been working hard for weeks on our Conservative Summer Party story, which we released on Tuesday evening in partnership with the Guardian.
Documents including a seating plan for the 2013 Tory fundraiser were passed to us, and formed the basis of our investigation. We were able to reveal who attended the event, who sat where and how much was raised.
The revelations helped to further the debate around the party political funding. There were renewed calls for greater transparency around fund raising events, details of which do not have to be disclosed.
Summer party coverage
We are very proud of the story, and it obviously struck a nerve with readers, as it was picked up far and wide by other media groups, including:
In Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron was confronted with a question arising from our story, about the defence secretary’s encounter with a Barhain lobbyist at the summer party.
On Wednesday evening, just 24 hours after we broke the story, Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the independent Committee on Standards in Public Life, said the revelations were having a ‘corrosive effect’ on public trust – and that all three main parties had questions to answer.
On Thursday, we moved the story forward with the exclusive revelation that at this year’s Conservative Summer Party, which took place at the Hurlingham Club in London, a Russian banker paid £160,000 at auction for the opportunity to play tennis with David Cameron and Boris Johnson.
This led to further pick-up by other media, including:
Of course, the story wasn’t restricted to how the Conservatives raise funds, but asked questions more generally about political party funding. In particular, we wrote that Labour also hosts expensive fundraising parties, which the Telegraph followed up on.
United & Cecil Club
On Friday, we also broke the story that a low-profile private lunch club United & Cecil was playing an increasingly crucial role in funding Tory election bids in the most tightly contested constituencies. The story was widely covered in the Observer.
This post was updated to add more links on July 7 2014.