§ Earl Russell
asked Her Majesty's Government:
In the light of the contribution by Thames Water to Conservative Party funds, whether they will introduce legislation to allow customers of monopoly private services to contract out of that portion of their bill which is designed for payments to any political party.
§ Lord Strathclyde
No, Her Majesty's Government will not introduce such legislation. Donations by a company to any political party are a matter for the board and shareholders. In this case, the Chairman of Thames Water is quite clear that it was in the interests of his shareholders to make this donation. The value of his company actually went up by £400 million the day after the General Election.