Ministry of Sound made political donations worth £80,000 to the Liberal Democrats which went undeclared by the councillors who were reviewing a proposal the nightclub opposed, according to the BBC.
Southwark Council recently voted against a proposal from developer Oakmayne to build a block of flats opposite the nightclub.
Ministry of Sound was against the development because it feared it might have its license revoked after construction of the 41-storey tower block. Managers of the club were concerned that residents of the proposed flats would make noise and nuisance complaints, which might force the club to relocate or wind up.
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None of the four Liberal Democrat politicians who rejected the application declared that the party locally had received donations worth £21,000 at local level and £57,300 at national level.
The BBC found that even though “planning councillors do not have to declare donations to their party, they would have to declare attending a party at the club – because councillors are deemed not to benefit personally.”
Speaking about the donations, Lohan Prescencer, chief executive, Ministry of Sound said: “It’s got absolutely nothing to do with political donations.
“We give money to all sorts of good causes. We’ve helped the Liberal Democrats locally; we’ve helped Simon Hughes because he’s a fantastic constituency MP.
“We also supported Oona King who was a Labour candidate in her bid for the mayoral election and we’ve supported Conservative candidates too.”
Despite the size of the donations, there is nothing to suggest the Ministry of Sound “deliberately set out to sway members of the committee when making the donations”, reported the BBC.
Anood Al-Samerai, leader of Southwark Lib Dems, said: “We do declare who gives us money.
“But I agree, I was a bit concerned because they were big donations.
“I contacted the borough solicitor in advance of the meeting. He came to me with advice that we did not have to declare it.
“It would certainly be helpful if the advice [from central government on declaring donations]was clearer. I’m in favour of anything that makes politics more transparent,” she added.