Senior officials from the waste giant Viridor attended a £75-a-head fundraising event held to boost the election chances in Carshalton and Wallington of Liberal Democrat Tom Brake.

Mr Brake denied this could influence his views on the South London Incinerator, with Viridor granted planning permission to run the 300,000 tonne a year refuse burner despite opposition.

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The fundraising event, held on March 11, was open to businesses and other stakeholders across the area and aimed at those wishing to meet "senior" Lib Dems.

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The revelation came a week after the two sole donors on Mr Brake's declaration of interest, John and Elaine Drage, who each give him about £6,000 a year, were revealed to be "long-standing" personal friends of the Viridor chief executive.

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Defending the occasion, Mr Brake said: "There were two members of Viridor at the event.

"I invite many businesses to fundraising events.

"It's a good opportunity to talk to senior Liberal Democrats and others including councillors like Nick Mattey.

"I suppose the implication is there would be influence.

"I want you to know in terms of financial contribution I estimate it was about 0.05 per cent.

"If there is suggestions that influences my decision-making that is completely untrue.

"My stance, as repeated in letters, is that the energy recovery facility plant (ERF) will be properly monitored by the Environment Agency - and that there would be limits in place if it breached those levels.

"There is currently a land fill site in Beddington that is already taking the waste from four London boroughs.

"In terms of the waste hierarchy, at the bottom is land fill, followed by incinerator, followed by ERF.

Returning to the donations from Viridor, he said: "The invitations were extended to a number of businesses, small, medium and large.

"The Viridor members paid £150 between them.

"It's an insignificant amount."