THE London Met has refused to say why it decided not to investigate allegations of a “cash for honours” culture at the top of the Tory party.

The police force, which is currently embroiled in the Tory government’s partygate scandal and suggestions that it may be involved in a “cover-up”, declined to tell openDemocracy why it had refused to investigate allegations of cash for honours.

It came after Pete Wishart, the senior SNP MP, wrote to the Met’s Commissioner Cressida Dick in November urging the force to take action after it was revealed that 15 of the last 16 of the Conservative Party's treasurers have been offered a seat in the Lords - but only after having each donated more than £3 million to the party.

A former party chairman reportedly said: “Once you pay your £3m, you get your peerage.”

The most controversial appointment was that of Peter Cruddas, who was given a title after Boris Johnson rejected the advice of the House of Lords Appointment Commission not to grant him a seat in the upper chamber.

Wishart said it was “beyond all doubt that the honours system [had] been abused by the Tories”, but the police said there was insufficient evidence.

Now, the Met has said that revealing the reasoning behind their decision could cause it “operational harm”.

“Such a disclosure would not be in the public interest,” it said, responding to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from openDemocracy. “It would be harmful to our policing functions.”

The Met’s decision not to probe the allegations, despite having set a precedent for doing so under Tony Blair’s government, was questioned by barrister Jolyon Maugham at the time.

Responding to the force’s decision not to explain its refusal to investigate the “cash for honours” culture, Wishart (below) said there seemed to be scope for the Met to U-turn.

The National: Pete Wishart

The SNP MP said: "The Metropolitan Police's failure to investigate the Tory cash for peerage scandal was disappointing. However, now that they have opened an investigation into alleged parties within No 10, there is no reason why they should not reconsider investigating it.

"Boris Johnson may think he has got off the hook, but the court of public opinion will find him guilty. No one believes it is a coincidence that so many wealthy Tory donors have been handed peerages after donating multi-million pound sums to the party - it is utterly corrupt.

"People in Scotland continue to look on in horror at what's going on at Westminster. The sooner Scotland can become an independent country, and shake off the broken Westminster system for good, the better."