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WESTMINSTER STEPS UP PRESSURE AS RESEARCH IMPLIES PORTER HAS FUNDS

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Westminster City Council is increasing pressure on former council leader Dame Shirley Porter to hand over£37m foll...
Westminster City Council is increasing pressure on former council leader Dame Shirley Porter to hand over £37m following revelations that the Tesco heiress exerts influence over assets worth millions of pounds.

The figure owed by Dame Shirley includes interest and a breach of trust charge on the initial amount of £26.5m, but she claims her assets are only worth a few hundred thousand.

But research by Radio Four?s Today programme appears to show she still has influence over the family?s millions via a number of off-shore companies.

The council has spent £500,000 in the past 18 months in attempts to force Dame Shirley to pay up.

A statement from the council said: ?We will continue to seek to recover the funds. The nature of the legal and investigative work we undertake means we cannot make public our tactics.?

The Audit Commission appealed for help tracking down Dame Shirley?s assets.

The surcharge was imposed after Dame Shirley tried to gain political support by selling off council homes to potential Conservative voters when she was council leader.

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