Cameron hit by new hedge-fund row as Tory Party conference begins

Times Online – The Tory party conference got off to an embarrassing start today after it emerged that the Conservatives have taken large donations from hedge-fund managers whose firms made vast sums of money from taking bets in some of Britain’s crisis-hit banks.

David Cameron, the Tory leader, has accepted almost £2m from hedge-fund managers who took bets on banks such as Halifax Bank of Scotland, which was forced into an emergency rescue by Lloyds TSB, and Bradford & Bingley, which is itself on the brink of collapse.

The practise of taking down bets on shares, known as short-selling, has now been temporarily banned by the Financial Services Authority, the City watchdog, for all bank stocks. However the revelations will be particularly embarrassing for Mr Cameron and George Osborne, his shadow Chancellor, since they both specifically declined to criticise the activity earlier this month.

A string of the hedge funds have been offered membership of an exclusive dining club reserved for backers who give £50,000 or more to the Conservative party.

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