15 Aug 2013

Big bequest to be paid into public purse

6:28 am on 15 August 2013

A bequest of £520,000 to the ruling party in Britain is to be paid into the public purse.

The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats initially divided the money from former nurse Joan Edwards between them, as it had been left to "whichever party" was in power when she died.

But they decided to hand the money to the Treasury after protests from newspapers and Members of Parliament who said the donor had intended to help the nation, not political parties.

In a copy of the will seen by the Daily Mail newspaper, Ms Edwards, 90, left her wealth to "whichever government is in office at the date of my death for the government in their absolute discretion to use as they think fit".

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith said "no one can truly believe this lady wanted her money squandered on electioneering". Britain goes to the polls in May 2015.