Politics 13 February 2011 Tories auction off City internships to raise funds Supporters pay thousands to get their children work experience in hedge funds and banks. Print HTML The Conservative Party banned the press from its Black and White Party (it used to be a "ball"), but that hasn't stopped the news leaking that it raised funds there by auctioning work experience opportunities with banks and hedge funds. The Mail on Sunday reports that lots at the £400-a-head party included five internships at City firms, which raised £14,000 in all. The Labour MP Tom Watson told the Mail: "This is a crass example of rich Tories buying privilege. Most young people could only dream of this opportunity. The Conservatives flog them like baubles and fill their coffers with the profits. It is obscene." Andrew Marr commented on his show this morning: "This money is going to be used by the Conservative Party, presumably, to tell us we're all in it together." His guest Mark Malloch Brown added: "They have to be really careful, because their only way to get through the next few years is maintaining that assertion – we're all in it together – and the more . . . that gets breached, this kind of rich person's club, buying internships at hedge funds gets exposed, the harder it's going to be to promote this One-Nation coalition government." The Tory party refused to comment to the Mail on Sunday, saying that the event was a private one. › Laurie Penny on Julie Burchill’s imperialist froth over Israel Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics. Subscribe More Related articles 25 times people used Brexit to attack Muslims since the EU referendum Exclusive: Labour MEPs call for Jeremy Corbyn to resign as leader Former Labour leader Ed Miliband tells Jeremy Corbyn: "I would have gone"