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Conor Burns: Taking Joan Edwards' money was very poor judgement. We must give it back
A BOURNEMOUTH MP says whoever accepted money from the will of a 90-year-old nurse showed “very poor judgement”.
Conor Burns, Conservative MP for Bournemouth West, said it was clear that Joan Edwards left her fortune for the benefit of the nation and not for the use of the governing parties.
The Tories and the Liberal Democrats shared £520,000 left by Ms Edwards, of Bristol, who left the money to "whichever government is in office... to use as they may think fit”.
The bequest made her the biggest donor to the two parties between April and June.
But Mr Burns joined those calling for the money to be returned.
He Tweeted on Wednesday morning: “Whoever decided to accept a penny of Joan Edwards' money for the Party has very poor judgement. We must return it before the morning is out.”
Whoever decided to accept a penny of Joan Edwards money for the Party has very poor judgement. We must return it before the morning is out.— Conor Burns MP (@Conor_BurnsMP) August 14, 2013
He told the Daily Echo: “There was clearly an intention for the money to be left to the government for the government of the UK, the state, to do something with.
“It's a warped misrepresentation of that lady's intentions that the money should be split £400,000 to the Tory party and £100,000 to the Liberal Democrats.
“It was clearly not intended as a political donation and I think both political parties should return it immediately.”
He said he would “astonished if we were still in receipt of that money by the time of the PM programme” on Radio 4 this afternoon.
The Lib Dems announced this morning they would return their share of the money, followed 11 minutes later by the Tories.
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