The row over Mitt Romney’s links with Barclays has entered a new phase with a Parliamentary motion tabled today by a Labour MP. The Republican presidential candidate is due to speak in London at a $75,000 per head fundraiser on the eve of the Olympics which has been organised by senior figures at Barclays.
Co-sponsor of the Early Day Motion, Grahame Morris MP, told Left Foot Forward:
“Barclays executives have had their eyes off the ball for too long now. They must now stop fundraising for US Republican candidates and start rebuilding public confidence in the banking system here in the UK which they have done so much harm to.
“Parliament must send a strong message to these banking elites that it is no longer business as usual. Politicians are expressing the outrage felt by the ordinary people we represent.”
The new development comes as the Libor scandal took a new turn yesterday with former Barclays chief operating officer, Jerry del Missier, telling the Treasury select committee he was “instructed” by former chief executive Bob Diamond to lower the interest rate.
The testimony undermines Barclays’s claim Mr del Missier told his traders to cut the Libor interest rate submissions following a misunderstanding over a note sent from Mr Diamond.
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The EDM, laid down by Jim Cunningham MP, titled “Barclays Bank, Libor rate-fixing and Republican donations”, states:
“That this House notes Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is to host a private fundraising dinner in London prior to the Olympics; understands that according to reports in the Financial Times (3 July) tickets to the dinner are being sold between $25,000 and $75,000 per head; understands that the event is being chaired by several senior banking executives and lobbyists; notes that the recently departed Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond and other existing senior Barclays executives have played a prominent role in fundraising efforts for the Romney Presidential campaign; understands at least 15 of Barclays Capital’s most senior bankers based in the US have donated the maximum allowable individual donation per election to the Romney campaign; understands Barclays’s Head of Government Policy and Finance group has already raised $927,000 for the Romney campaign; notes the recent revelation of the destructive role Barclays has played in the international Libor rate-setting scandal and recognises fears that hundreds of thousands of borrowers and mortgage owners in the UK could have been adversely affected; believes that Barclays comprehensively failed to work in the interests of their customers; believes Barclays senior executives continue to not fully appreciate the consequences of the actions and behaviour of the financial sector in causing the global banking crash in 2007-8, which ordinary working people are now paying for; and calls on Barclays Bank and its executives to cease fundraising for political candidates immediately and to concentrate entirely on repairing confidence and trust in the banking system instead.”
New figures released yesterday show Patrick Durkin, a registered Barclays lobbyist who is co-hosting the dinner, raised $184,000 for Mitt Romney from April to June alone. Romney has pledged to repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act if elected.
Will Straw is writing in a personal capacity.