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Tory donor asks for name to be taken off honours list

Vitol Oil boss Ian Taylor Credit: Reuters

A major donor to the Conservative Party who was nominated for a knighthood has asked that his name be removed from David Cameron's proposed resignation honours list.

Vitol Oil boss Ian Taylor has written to both the former prime minister, and current Prime Minister Theresa May amid accusations of cronyism after the list was leaked.

In recent days, speculation in the media has suggested that I may be recognised in the forthcoming resignation honours list.

This has been accompanied by seriously inaccurate comments about the company I lead. In these circumstances, I think it is right I request that my name does not go forward, if indeed I was being considered for an honour.

Tonight, I am writing both to the outgoing and the current Prime Minister requesting that I would not wish to be considered for an honour at this time.

I will, of course, be continuing to participate actively in all the causes that I and my family passionately believe in, notably broadening access to the arts for everyone.

– Ian Taylor

Mr Taylor has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Conservative Party in recent years, and donated £500,000 to the Better Together campaign to reject Scottish independence in the 2014 referendum.

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Gove declines to reveal who he will back for PM

Michael Gove has declined to reveal which side he will be backing in the race between Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom to become the next prime minister.

The justice secretary, who was knocked out of the leadership race by a ballot of Conservative MPs, gave no answer when asked which of the two remaining candidates he would endorse.

He said there were "no regrets" about standing for leadership, adding: "I'm looking forward to what I hope will be a good debate between two excellent candidates."

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