our parliamentary correspondent, Accountancy Age, Wednesday 7 July 2010 at 10:09:00

Lord Ashcroft becomes a UK taxpayer, but four other peers choose to abandonthe upper house in order to retain non-dom status

Multi-millionaire Tory benefactor Lord Ashcroft has finally abandoned hisnon-dom status to become a regular British taxpayer in order to retain his seatin the House of Lords and influence in UK politics.

The deputy Conservative party chairman made the switch before the deadlinepassed requiring him to abandon his non-dom status or give up his seat in thehouse.

He is accompanied by Labour peer Lord Paul, an Indian-born British-basedbusiness magnate, who has retained his position as a legislator by agreeing topay UK tax.

However, four other peers, including two Tories, have relinquished theirright to sit in the upper chamber.

Tory donor Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay, former party treasurer Lord McAlpine,Lord Bagri, best known for his ten-year battle with Westminster Council overrenovations to his prospective home in Regents Park, and cross-bench peerBaroness Dunn, former deputy chairman of banking giant HSBC, have all abandonedtheir positions in order to retain non-dom status.

All four informed the Lords authorities before the end of the three-monthdeadline that they were leaving the House.

Lord Ashcroft was the centre of much political controversy due to his fundingfor campaigns in marginal seats during the last general election while appearingto maintain a financial empire from the tax haven of Belize. He announced hewould be giving up his non-dom status earlier this year.