THE Conservative Party is facing demands for a police investigation into a fresh cash for honours scandal.

The SNP are demanding action from the Metropolitan Police to determine whether any criminal offence has been committed after it was reported party treasurers who meet a £3 million threshold in donations are virtually guaranteed a peerage.

The Sunday Times and Open Democracy found 15 of the last 16 Tory treasurers have been offered a seat in the Lords having each donated more than £3m.

The most controversial appointment was that of Lord Cruddas, who took his seat after Boris Johnson rejected the advice of the House of Lords Appointment Commission not to grant him a peerage.

An ex-party chairman explained: “Once you pay your £3m, you get your peerage.”

The report found that, since 2010, 22 of the party's main financial donors have been given peerages after donating a combined £54m. Two Labour and five LibDem major donors have also been handed peerages.

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SNP MP Pete Wishart said the latest scandal was corruption – “plain and simple”.

He commented: "The Tory corruption scandal is growing worse by the day. It's now beyond all doubt that the honours system has been abused by the Tories. The Metropolitan Police should launch a fresh cash for honours investigation to determine whether a criminal offence has been committed.

"It is utterly appalling that so many millionaire Tory party donors have been handed life peerages by Boris Johnson and his predecessors. But this isn't just a scandal for the Tories - the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats have also been dishing out peerages to donors as though they were sweeties. It is corruption plain and simple – and it absolutely stinks.

The National: SNP MP Peter Wishart is calling on the Metropolitan Police to actSNP MP Peter Wishart is calling on the Metropolitan Police to act

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"The undemocratic House of Lords is packed with hundreds of Tory, Labour and LibDem donors and cronies, who are making laws without being elected and claiming allowances at our expense. It should have been abolished centuries ago but, whenever they've had the opportunity, the Tories and Labour Party have instead chosen to continue benefiting from the broken system - milking taxpayers for every penny they can get.”

It comes as opposition politicians call for Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone to investigate the refurbishment of the Prime Minister’s Downing Street flat and his Marbella holiday in a villa owned by the family of environment minister Lord Goldsmith.

Johnson has already been admonished by the commissioner on four occasions, most recently over a £15,000 holiday to the island of Mustique between December 26, 2019, and January 5, 2020, but this was later overturned by the Committee on Standards.

Wishart continued: "This is just the latest scandal for Boris Johnson who seems to believe he is immune to abiding by the rules everyone else does. Whether it's cash for peerages, changing the standards system to suit him best, or soliciting dodgy donations for the refurbishment of flats and holidays, he is reigning over a system that he's using to benefit him and his party.

"People in Scotland are looking in horror at what's going on at Westminster. The sooner Scotland can become an independent country, and shake off this broken system, the better."

Issues around standards have dominated debate in Westminster after the Government sought to prevent former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson facing an immediate suspension over an “egregious” breach of lobbying rules, instead backing the creation of a Tory-led committee to look again at the case and overhaul the standards system.

Ministers backed down following a backlash, prompting Paterson to quit the Commons.

Environment Secretary George Eustice admitted the Government had “made a mistake” but told Sky News: “What we have seen is a Westminster storm in a teacup.”

The Tories have denied any link between the donations and the nominations to sit in the Lords, with Eustice claiming their expertise made them “valuable” members of the Upper Chamber.

He added: “They are philanthropists who give huge amounts to charity, who have been very successful in business and, therefore, on those grounds ought to be considered for the Lords.”