CPS decides no charges for Peter Hain MP
5 December 2008
The Crown Prosecution Service has today advised all concerned parties that there is insufficient evidence to charge Peter Hain MP with any offences in relation to donations made to Mr Hain’s campaign to support his bid to become Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in mid 2007.
Stephen O’Doherty, reviewing lawyer from the CPS Special Crime Division said: “Although Mr Hain did not report all regulated donations to the Electoral Commission within the 30 days stipulated by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, in order to prove a criminal breach of the Act the Crown must first prove that Mr Hain held the position of either a ‘regulated donee’ or, if operating via a ‘members association’ he was the ‘person responsible for dealing with donations to the association’.
“The evidence in this case shows that Mr Hain’s campaign was run through an organisation named ‘Hain4Labour’ which was made up of members of the Labour Party. That organisation had its own bank account and the funds for Mr Hain’s campaign were solicited for that account and cheques donated were made out to that account. Those were all characteristics of a ‘members association’ as defined in the Act. Mr Hain was not a signatory to that account and did not direct where funds should be spent.
“In light of this evidence, I have concluded that Mr Hain was not the ‘regulated donee’ and nor was he the person responsible for dealing with donations to the association under the terms of the PPERA.”
“As to who should have been responsible for reporting these regulated donations, it is not possible to prove from the evidence available that any other individuals involved with Mr Hain’s campaign fell into the category of being either the regulated donee or the person responsible for dealing with donations. Accordingly I have advised the police to take no further action.”
Following a review into donations received to support Mr Hain’s election campaign by the Electoral Commission, the matter was referred for investigation to the Metropolitan Police Service in January 2008. Following their investigation, a file was submitted to the CPS in July 2008.
Here is a clue*:
From: Huw Roberts [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 24 April 2007 16:23
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; ‘Dai Davies'; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Thank you all for joining us at dinner last night. I thought it was a thoroughly enjoyable event as well as very helpful to Peter’s campaign. As I am now off to France to recuperate, Kate Lewis has very kindly agreed to follow up on the delicate matter of the contributions to the campaign fund.
Cheques, made payable to “Hain4Labour” should be sent to Kate at Morgan, Allen, Moore, Bay Chambers, West Bute Street, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5BB.
*The authenticity of this email was confirmed by Huw Roberts to the journalist Martin Shipton of the Western Mail.
Another LibDem, Chris Huhne, gave one of the most spirited speeches in defence of Green’s whistleblowing and against the government’s heavy handedness.
The unprincipled partisanship of the Labour hierarchy over this has driven the LibDems to side with the Tories again. If the next election is competitive Labour may regret having driven the LibDems towards the Tories so many times on so many issues…
Statement due at 10.00.
The fact is the banks have to earn a spread from the rate they lend against the rate they borrow, otherwise you get into the Northern Rock position with the cost of borrowing exceeding the return on lending. Politicians will nevertheless huff and puff regardless of reality.
UPDATE : The government is going to force banks to double their holdings of government bonds, supposedly to increase their “liquidity reserves”. Handy when the government is desperate to find buyers for gilts to keep itself afloat. If they have to buy gilts, it will make it even more difficult for banks to extend credit to corporate borrowers… doh!
Download full analysis (pdf).
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“..I could have taken more action and probably dealt with this issue better.”
Owen Jones says:
We also need Zil lanes.