Matthew Oliver is a Conservative activist and former party agent, who now works for Unlock Democracy, the UK's leading campaign organisation for democracy, rights and freedoms, and long-time advocates for party funding reform. He writes in a personal capacity.
Soon we will really see if it is right to accuse the Conservatives of being the "do-nothing party".
The Political Parties and Elections Bill has its Report Stage in the House of Lords today when amendments regarding capping donations to political parties will be debated. Following a number of funding allegations against all parties, there is general consensus that a cap on donations is needed. However, the Liberal Democrats have been the only party to raise the issue of party funding at all during the Bills progress through Parliament.
The Conservatives support a donations cap, having identified a figure of £50,000. Yet the official line on the Bill however is that, “now is not the time” for a cap on donations and that "consensus" is needed on this issue before it can be resolved. This would be fair enough, but the party have actively assisted Labour in its efforts to talk out party funding amendments, in an effort to dodge the debate. At least you could say they are doing something!