Goldsmith disclosed the donation of Lady Annabel Goldsmith in his latest entry to the register of MPs’ financial interests. He is one of four Tories hoping to replace Boris Johnson at City Hall.
Goldsmith explained the donation to the LBC Radio Conservative mayoral debate: “I’m going to come across as a mother’s boy. My mother has made a donation to my campaign. But you know what, if I can’t persuade my mother, I’m not going to stand a chance with the rest of London.”
Asked how much money his mother had donated, Goldsmith replied: “It hasn’t come through yet so I can’t tell you that. But trusting my mother, it will be a generous donation. I hope so.”
However, by Wednesday evening, an entry had appeared on the register of members’ financial interests saying the donation was accepted on 31 July and registered on 11 August.
It is one of four donations from Goldsmith that her son has detailed in his latest submission to the parliamentary watchdog. The other three, made through her son’s local party or indirectly via the Tory party, totalled £26,800. All were registered on 5 June, according to their entries.
Goldsmith, the son of the late billionaire Sir James Goldsmith and brother of journalist Jemima Khan, is viewed as a substantial threat to Labour, which had been hoping to retake City Hall when Johnson leaves the job after two terms. Like Johnson, Goldsmith went to Eton, where he was expelled for possessing cannabis.
The other three Tory mayoral candidates – Andrew Boff, Stephen Greenhalgh and Syed Kamall – were also asked to disclose their biggest campaign donation during the LBC debate.
Boff replied: “Two pence,” while Greenhalgh, currently deputy mayor for policing and crime, said: “I’ve had support from our family business that I set up.” Asked how much, he replied: “£50,000.”
Kamall joked: “Zac’s family hasn’t donated anything to my campaign,” but pressed for an answer, he said: “To be honest, I don’t know at the moment.”
This article was written by Damien Gayle, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 9th September 2015 21.39 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010