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Porter settles case

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2004-07-05

Shirley Porter

Shirley Porter

Dame Shirley Porter, the disgraced former Conservative leader of Westminster City Council has paid £12m to settle the surcharge imposed on her following the “homes for votes” scandal of the 1980s.

The scandal involved selling council homes to people likely to vote Conservative.

Dame Shirley, the daughter of Tesco founder Jack Cohen fled Britain for Israel in the mid-1990s and claimed at one time she only had £300,000. She made the £12m payment in full and final settlement of her debts on July 1.

Westminster Council deputy leader Kit Malthouse said in a statement:

"Earlier this year Westminster City Council reached a £12m mediated agreement with Dame Shirley Porter in full settlement of the outstanding surcharge. On 1 July, the entire amount was deposited into Westminster's bank account.

"Approximately £1m of the money will be allocated to the Audit Commission towards legal costs its appointed auditor incurred in on taking this matter through the appeal courts up to and including the House of Lords.

"The remainder will be reinvested in the Westminster community."