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Cameron: Right to give up bequest
David Cameron has said it is "right" that the Tories and Liberal Democrats give up a £520,000 bequest from a former nurse amid confusion over whether she actually meant the money to go to the Government.
The Prime Minister said the wording of Joan Edwards' will made clear that her intention was for the money to "benefit the nation" rather than political parties.
The legacy, disclosed along with other donations, sparked a bizarre row after a copy of the document emerged.
Conservative and Lib Dem officials previously briefed that they had split the money because it was earmarked for "whichever party was in government" but the text obtained by the Daily Mail showed Miss Edwards - who died in September aged 90 - identified the beneficiary as "whichever government is in office at the date of my death".
As the backlash gathered pace, both coalition partners declared they would hand the funds to the Treasury as a gesture of good faith but shortly afterwards the executors of Miss Edwards' will, Bristol solicitors Davis Wood, released a statement insisting that she had indeed intended the cash to go to political parties rather than the government.
Speaking during a visit to the Commonwealth Games site in Glasgow, Tory leader Mr Cameron said: "It is a slightly confusing situation. The facts as I understand them are these, the executors of the will decided it was right to pay the money to the parties of government, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.
"But I think when you look at the wording of the will it seems to us the intention was more to benefit the nation, so what we've done, the Conservative Party has done, with our part of the donation is give it to the Treasury so it can help to pay down the national debt, which I think meets the spirit of what this very generous lady meant.
"The executors of the will decided to pay the money to the Conservative Party, they thought that was what was meant to happen so we accepted the money in good faith. But having been able to look at the wording of the will and consider the matter I think this is the right decision and I am pleased we're paying the money to the Treasury and therefore it will pay down the national debt."
Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has personally approved the forfeiting of the party's £100,000 share.
"The Liberal Democrats have taken the decision to pass the donation granted to us by the executors of Ms Edwards' will to the Treasury," a party spokesman said. "Party officials have been instructed to contact the Treasury to make the necessary arrangements."