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The way we were: political spending

Letters and diaries on money and politics

By Ian Irvine   April 2010

In July 1805 Thomas Creevey MP writes to his friend Lord Petre:

“You must know that I came out of the battle of the [last parliamentary] session very sick of it and of my leaders. It appears to me we had Pitt [the prime minister] upon his very last legs, and might have destroyed him upon the spot; instead of which, every opportunity for so doing was either lost or converted to a contrary purpose. Could the most inveterate enemy of Pitt have wished for anything better than to find him lending £40,000 [roughly £3m today], appropriated by law to…

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