News that controversial pay-day loan company, Wonga, has been given face-to-face meetings in return for donations to the Conservative party, has angered politicians.

Wonga has been criticised multiple times in the past for its high interest rates and preying on those people who are struggling to make it through the month. The Daily Telegraph reported today that Wonga paid £1,250 for a face-to-face meeting with ministers at the Conservative Party conference. In the past few years, companies such as Transport for London, ITV and Football League have come under fire for accepting sponsorship from the company.

John Robertson, MP for Glasgow North West, has been working with colleagues in Parliament to try and curtail the interest rates charged by the company. In response to the Conservative donations he said: “This is a typical example of reverse Robin Hood – instead of taking from the rich and giving the poor, the rich take from the poor and give to the even richer. Companies like Wonga should not even exist, never mind be able to give money to the party in power. It is another disgraceful example of the rich looking after their own.”

Wonga charges interest rates of 4,200% or more and often targets its campaigns at people who are struggling to pay their bills half way through the month. Errol Damelin, Wonga’s Founder and CEO, was previously an investment banker.

Notes to Editors


Letting 16 and 17-year-olds vote in the referendum, but refusing them the right to vote in the General Election, has been criticised in a parliamentary debate.

The referendum deal, agreed yesterday, was debated in the UK Parliament last night. Scottish MP’s turned out to discuss the agreement that has been made. During the debate, John Robertson, MP for Glasgow North West said:

“These 16 and 17-year-olds will be allowed to vote on Scottish separation, yet, six or seven months later, they will not be allowed to vote in a general election.”

Speaking after the debate, Mr Robertson said: “It is absolute hypocracy that these young people will be given the vote but in the European elections before it, and the General and Scottish Parliamentary elections after it, they cannot vote. Why do the arguments about paying taxes and being able to marry not hold for these elections as well?”