Election row engulfs Evans

ITFC owner accused by the Tories

IPSWICH Town FC has been dragged into the General Election fray after the Conservatives said companies controlled by club owner and Liberal Democrat supporter Marcus Evans had paid only a small amount of tax in the UK.

The Lib Dems have set up a national phone bank call centre at Portman Road with cash donated by Mr Evans and his companies.

Greg Hands, a shadow Treasury minister, said it was “completely hypocritical” for Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg to campaign on election funding when his parted had accepted thousands of pounds from a company “that pays virtually no tax.”

Research by a national newspaper <Daily Telegraph> into the records of the Electoral Commission shows that companies controlled by Mr Evans have donated more than �530,000 to the Liberal Democrats during the past four years. But it claims other records from Companies House reveal that in 2007, UK-based companies of the Marcus Evans group paid just �7,757 in tax in 2007 on a turnover of �55million and profits of �1.8m.

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Mr Clegg, who says the Tory Party relies on “the murky system of party funding that allows offshore donors,” has used the start of the election campaign to call for a reform of party political donations and funding.

A spokesman for the party said: “These donations are a matter of public record. Unlike Labour and the Tories, we are open about our donations and do not exchange them for influence or favours.”

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And a spokesman for Mr Evans said: “The bottom line is that he has never been a non-dom and he is registered by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs as a resident in the UK.”

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