All these quotation are taken from an article published in the Guardian last month.
William Hague: My conclusion having asked him is that he fulfilled the obligations that were imposed on him at the time that he became a peer.
Interviewer: So is he resident in the UK and paying taxes here?
Caroline Spelman: A donation has to be made by an individual who is, who pays, tax in the United Kingdom.
David Cameron: Lord Ashcroft's tax status is a matter between him and the Inland Revenue. What I can say and what he has said is that the undertakings he gave at the time of being made a peer are undertakings that he is meeting.
Sir George Young: It's an undertaking which he gave to another body, and that body has been asked for documents. I don't know what those documents contain. We have to wait for the freedom of information process to complete its course. I'm sorry, but I just can't shed any light on this.
And they bring the judgement of David Cameron and his senior colleagues into serious question. They make it look as though they have been bought - "like a banana republic," as Chris Huhne put it.
Conservative bloggers have defended the party's acceptance of money from Lord Ashcroft on the grounds that his funding has not been that significant. Here is Iain Dale, for instance:
Since David Cameron became leader, less than five per cent of cash and in-kind donations have come from Bearwood Corporate Services, a company in which Lord Ashcroft has an interest. Since Q1 2006, Bearwood has donated £4,131,995 in cash and in-kind out of a total £90,723,018 donated to the Conservative Party in the same period (Electoral Commission register).But saying that you did not get that much for it is an odd way of defending yourself against the charge that you have sold your good name.
This whole affair can be put down to a combination of inexperience and arrogance, which may well prove to be the besetting sins of Cameron and his circle.