Posted by: secretperson | November 28, 2007

Dodgy Donations – Worse and Worse for Labour

Now Labour’s funding chief Jon Mendelsohn has admitted knowing about the ‘dodgy donations’ (surely the mainstream press needs a catchy alliterative phrase like that, please just nothing ending in gate). Following on from the party general secretary, Peter Watt, who resigned over the matter claiming he didn’t realise accepting donations under a fake name was dodgy. Presumably thought the regulations to name all donors were just there for a laugh, eh?

Now Mendelsohn was revealed, by the alleged source of these funds David Abraham, to have sent a letter, asking to meet him as one of Labour’s best donors to discuss the future. Mendelsohn now claims this meeting would have been to explain how the donations were dodgy. So that’s someone else who knew but said nothing it seems.

Harriet Harman accepted money off one of the intermediaries for her succesful deputy leadership bid, two weeks after campaigning stopped! Abrahams also donated to the deputyship campaign of her rival, Hillary Benn , who realised something was up and insisted Abrahams donated in his own name. He doesn’t seem to have though the attempt worth mentioning to anyone though.

All this could be shocking incompetence, but with Abrahams company (directors: two of the named intermediaries) getting beneficial decisions from Douglas Alexander’s planning committee, it has the look of donors giving in expectation of something in return. Following on from the ‘loans for honours’ scandal which had Tony Blair interviewed by police, the Crown Prosecution service have been called in to investigate.

The Telegraph has a picture gallery of all those involved, link off this story here.

I don’t know whether the legal investigation will bring up charges, but I am certain for political reasons heads will roll. Fundraisers will probably go as easy scapegoats. But will anyone go from an already lightweight cabinet? Brown seems willing to sacrifice someone for his safety, given his responses in a press conference, Harman looks a good bet.

None of this will reflect well on Gordo, I hope I was right in writing just before this scandal broke ‘the only way is down for Brown’.

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