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There's no doubt that the cash for honours allegation is damaging, and it does not do much for the Conservative brand, but it's also a reminder to people about where political parties get thier money from.
For the Tories, it tends to be from wealthy individuals. For Labour, it comes overwhelmingly from the unions. The problem is that while the parties will find alternative funders, it can sometimes come from taxpayer's money and there is no consensus on that.
The trouble is while there is stalemate on the issue, political party funding has to go on.
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Chinese politicians now have an excuse to raise corruption concerns about their British counterparts.