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Conservatives and Lib Dems backtrack over British pensioner's £520,000 bequest

Conservatives and Lib Dems backtrack over British pensioner's £520,000 bequest
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Britain’s coalition partners have caved in to pressure over a former nurse’s £520,000 (€611,000) bequest.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives and their coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, initially divided Joan Edwards’ money between them, saying 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 MPs who said Edwards had intended to help the nation, not political parties.

In a copy of the will seen by a UK newspaper, 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”.

Party funding is a perennial source of controversy in British politics. Parties must declare all donations over £7,500 (€8,807) to the electoral watchdog.