The PR firm managing the leadership campaign of Boris Johnson, Crosby Textor, says it has not been lobbying government on behalf of its ground rent fund clients.
Or, at any rate, since autumn 2017.
Crosby Textor, founded by election guru Sir Lynton Crosby, has the £1.6 billion Long Harbour fund as a client.
Its chief executive is Will (William Waldorf) Astor, the half-brother of Samantha Cameron and heir to the viscountcy.
Adrian Flook, a former Tory MP and current councillor at Wandsworth, tells LKP:
“CT Group has not made representations to anyone in Government on behalf of the ground rent sector about leaseholds since the Autumn of 2017.
“This work looks to have been carried out by another company, which is totally independent of us, and is not directed by us, even indirectly.
“I understand that particular company is properly registered as giving public affairs consultancy advice to such companies.
“I am sure therefore someone has been involved, but it is not us.”
This other lobbying company is Pagefield, which managed to persuade Kate Osamor, the controversial Labour MP for Edmonton to ask parliamentary questions on behalf of Long Harbour.
This ruse was reported by the Daily Telegraph.
Also this week Global Witness reported the extent of Long Harbour’s offshore and unknowable ownership of its residential freehold funds.
It focussed on Adriatic Land and Abacus.
Keith isn’t alone. When Katie bought her house in Cheshire through the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, she thought it would be her “forever home”. Like Keith, she was told she would have the opportunity to buy the freehold. “The management company wouldn’t give me a quote to buy my freehold until I’d paid them £108.