The Day Heffer Nearly Donated His Brolly

This anecdote from Simon Heffer is worth recounting in full:-

It was a Labour Party conference in Brighton a few years ago. It was pouring with rain. I was leaving a restaurant and asked for my coat and umbrella.

The latter was a shockingly expensive, black wooden-handled model, bought deliberately so I would remember not to lose it. Instead, I was given the sort of floral collapsible one sold by Italian street vendors for a quid. I then saw a woman leaving the same restaurant with my umbrella. She protested it was hers. I protested it wasn’t.

I pointed out that a brass collar on the shaft bore my initials. At that moment, a waiter said, “Madam, here is your umbrella”, and handed her the Italian floral job. Flustered, Harriet Harman (for it was she) said that she thought she had borrowed the gamp from her sister who, being called Sarah Jane Harman, had the same initials as me.

Looking at the two brollies, I said I could see how easily she might have confused the two. She failed to appreciate the joke. Am I surprised that she is up to her neck in effluent about dodgy donations? Am I hell.

This is the reality of Harriet Harman. Too stupid to successfully steal an umbrella.

Abrahams Says Mendelsohn Knew, Mendelsohn Says He’s Lying

This is now becoming farcical. Like ferrets in a sack, things are becoming desperate.

The mendacious Mendelsohn is in a hole, there is no way out for him now. On LabourHome activists are calling for him to go. He was Gordon’s choice to raise funds for Labour…

The Party is Over…

Word is that the Harriet Harman party on Wednesday has been cancelled.

No word on ticket refunds…

Hat-tip : First Post

Good Week, Good Night

Guido is looking forward to going off to the panto with young Ms Fawkes tomorrow, which should be almost as much fun as UK politics.

It has been nice to see Vince Cable openly attacking the leader of another party, as opposed to attacking his own for the last few year(s). According to GMTV he has the ambition to dance on Strictly Come Dancing, expect to see Bruce Forsyth staggering with a stab wound soon…

It has also been great fun to see Yates (and Guido) get a second round of Labour funding sleaze to go after. This time with a bit of luck somebody will do time. It is fascinating to see it being blamed on Levy and Blair by Labour MPs. Labour MPs who only a few months ago were denying Levy and Blair were guilty of any wrong doing.

Enjoyed the new Telegraph blogs, one of which bemoanedwhere are the bloggers on Donorgate?, before elsewhere cutting and pasting Guido’s copy of that Wendy letter without attribution. You saw it here first, there later, so the answer to their question is, “ahead of the Telegraph”.

Mad Mel and others now talk darkly of anti-semitism. When Guido was kicking Prescott when he was down it was blamed on class snobbery, mocking Melissa Kite was misogyny – so what was Guido guilty of when he was slagging Blair? Sorry, in reality Guido is an equal opportunities piss taker.

Predictions for next week; more people will be discovered to have been “in the know”, therefore more people will have been part of a cover-up, we will re-focus on the fact that at £30 billion and rising the taxpayers are in for £1,000 each to Northern Rock as the property market goes south. Can it really get any worse for Brown next week? It will if Guido has a hand in it…

Poll : 70% of Labour Activists Think Harman Should Go

Source : LabourHome

Exclusive : Wendy Alexander Thank You Note Proves She Knew

click to enlarge
This letter should mean Wendy Alexander is toast. This personal note (dated October 5) to Paul Green shows that her telling the media that the first time she knew about the personal donation from Paul Green was 1 pm yesterday, is completely untrue.

Paul Green has also admitted that he gave two personal cheques of £950 which would have put him over the £1000 barrier and shown he was an impermissible donor.

Tom McCabe, her campaign manager, also said on Newsnight Scotland last night that David Whitton MSP was the treasurer for Wendy’s campaign. Yet it was David Whitton who put this statement out on Wednesday night:

“Paul Green was invited by one on the Campaign Team to make a donation as a longstanding Labour supporter. As required by the rules we made inquiries about permissibility and indicated to him that only a UK resident or UK registered company could donate. The registered donation was a UK corporate one. The allegation that a donation was accepted and returned is untrue. We acted in good faith at every stage. The Electoral Commission has been kept appraised.”

The Treasurer would have surely seen the personal cheques and Wendy could not have signed this without noticing the address was Jersey…

N.B. There is no wriggle room. She is on the hook completely;

4.3 It is the legal responsibility of a regulated donee, when receiving a donation to take all reasonable steps forthwith to satisfy themselves that the source of a donation is permissible within the relevant PPERA rules.

Friday Caption Contest (Watt, Abraham, Who? Edition)

Correction as Dictated by Labour HQ

Following on from yesterday’s story “Chris Lennie is now the registered treasurer with the Electoral Commission” according to a tad petulant Owain at the Labour party press office who has just called. Owain didn’t deny that, for a brief moment, under the law Gordon was the acting treasurer until the Electoral Commission was notified of the new treasurer.

Good luck Chris, be wary of lollipop ladies bearing gifts…

Is Harman Trying the “If I Go, You Go Too” Defence?

Guido is having difficulty understanding the maneuvering of the various Labour party players in the scandal. Dizzy is hinting that the source for the Evening Standard’s writ attracting story on Mendelsohn is the Harman nominating MP, Kevan Jones. He was seen dining with the journalist who wrote the article in Shepherds the night before. Not conclusive, but interesting nonetheless.

Another Labour source tells Guido plausibly that when Mendelsohn was appointed, Watt (a Blairite sympathiser) offered his resignation. When the Abrahams shit hit the Mail on Sunday fan, Watt was the Brownies designated fall guy. A political firebreak. Harman was to be kept in reserve in case the fires licked at the door of No. 10, hence the noticeable lack of support at the PM’s monthly press conference.* So did Harriet encourage Kevan Jones to drop Mendelsohn right in it, thereby protecting herself by linking her fate to Gordon’s fundraiser? Not sure if it makes sense, but it makes more sense than the Telegraph’s bonkers hint that Abrahams might be a conduit for Mossad money.

With Mendelsohn feeling the intense heat and Brown’s campaign manager Chris Leslie giving a bizarre explanation that he tore up a cheque from Abraham’s proxy because he thought it dodgy, yet recommended the donor to Harman’s people anyway. It gets better, Harman still has campaign debts, which are presumably financed with undeclared loans. Which is dodgy.

Hain’s campaign, which according to the wife of a well connected SpAd was derailed by Guido (it was a pleasure), forgot to declare £5,000 given by Mendelsohn. That is Hain’s story and he is sticking to it. For now. The police are really going to have their work cut out methinks. At least we have settled one thing, the consensus is that the name for the scandal is “Donorgate”.

*The transcript of which on the Downing Street website is suspiciously heavily redacted “on party political grounds” something Guido does not recall happening in the Blair era. Also the usual video record is not available. Guido of course has his own copy to use to highlight a few of Gordon’s untruths.

Enjoy A Night In

Even in Wexford, courtesy of Sky and the wonders of broadband, it is possible for Guido to watch both Newsnight and Question Time simultaneously. Newsnight is going to have some devestating revelations from David Grossman and Question Time should be a laugh.

Guido is on his second bottle, one of the better Margaux – well it has been a good day. Always liked that Grossman chap…

Police Confirm Investigation

Peter Watt could face up to 12 months for breaching the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 alone. There are various potential offences to consider. More here.

Roy Kennedy was the Director of Finance and Compliance when the illegal funding operation was under way. Labour sources have told Guido that he should have known, it is inconceivable that the third biggest funder of the Labour party could have gone unchecked. He was responsible for compliance with the law. The question is when did he first know about it?

He will be an early target of the police investigation.

Evening Standard : “Source is Excellent”

Jon Mendelsohn is running out of options, as an experienced spin merchant he knows that suing a newspaper is risky and the last option of the desperate. It buys a little time and than you may have to drop it or risk expensively losing in Court. Remember the Beckhams threatening to sue various kiss ‘n tell girls? Remember Aitken and his trusty sword of truth? Doesn’t work does it?

Every indication is that the Standard is sticking by the story. They say the source is excellent. Guido has to laugh whenever Mendelsohn’s “friends” peddle the “man of integrity” line. People who have done business with him say that is not a description they recognised. The last thing Labour needs is to wash their dirty linen in a bitterly fought libel case.

Gordon Brown is Now Official Labour Party Treasurer

Now that Peter Watt has resigned the legal treasurer of the Labour party is one G. Brown:

The law says

Where—

(a) the person registered as a party’s treasurer dies, or

(b) his appointment as treasurer terminates for any other reason,

then, until such time as another person is registered as the party’s treasurer in pursuance of an application under section 31(3)(a), the appropriate person shall be treated for all purposes of this Act (except subsection (8)) as if he were registered also as its treasurer.

(7) In subsection (6) “the appropriate person” means—

(a) the person registered as the party’s leader;

That should appeal to his control freakery…

Hat tip : LabourHome

LibDems Ask “Did Abrahams Illegally Finance Sedgefield By-Election?”

Defeated Sedgefield LibDem candidate Greg Stone has written to Phil Wilson MP, the Labour victor in Blair’s old constituency, demanding an explanation for his campaign’s funding.
As you will be aware, there has been considerable recent media coverage of illegitimate donations made to the Labour Party by Mr David Abrahams. Both the local press and the national press are reporting that donations totalling £62,000 were made by Mr Abrahams via his associates Mr Ruddick and Mrs Kidd to the Labour Party on the day the Sedgefield by-election was declared.

The LibDems have also made an official complaint to the Electoral Commission. It is noticeable that Abrahams was given a front-row seat at Sedgefield when Blair retired. Front row seats don’t come cheap…

Mendelsohn “Offered to Launder Moneyfor Deputy Leadership Campaign”

The London Evening Standard is reporting rumours that are flying around that the Benn deputy leadership campaign was offered and turned down illegal funding organised by Jon Mendelsohn. Which would explain why Baroness Jay is being so tight-lipped.

“We were approached by Mendelsohn. He rang up to say he had ways of supporting people. He said he was close to Gordon and was going to help with his leadership campaign. We discussed things but it became clear early on what he was talking about. He said there were people who want to make donations but they can’t be in the public domain. He said he could facilitate moving money around through a network of other people. He said ‘don’t worry, there’s nothing dodgy about it’. I ran a mile and said ‘thanks but no thanks’. A source close to Mr Mendelsohn revealed that he had met Gareth Thomas MP, a member of Hilary Benn’s campaign, for a cup of coffee and had mentioned how difficult it was to get donations because of the cash for honours affair. The source suggested that there were Labour supporters ready to offer funds, but Mr Mendelsohn categorically denies any suggestion he raised the idea of using third parties.”

Looks like the Labour knives are out. If Harman is forced out of course one of the other rivals could take her place – perhaps Hilary Benn…

Property Developer Gets Local Labour MPStephen Ladyman’s Backing After £25,000 Donation

Property company Commercial Group Properties Plc has an interest in Manston Business Park off the A299 near Kent Airport. The 45 acres it owns could be developed if Ken Wills the company’s chief executive gets planning permission.

Dr Stephen Ladyman, Labour MP for South Thanet, told the local rag this week: “I fully support Ken and his team in their efforts which is why I have been working with them for well over a year…” Which is nice, and entirely unrelated to the recent £25,000 donation property developer Ken Wills made to Stephen Ladyman’s local Labour party in this ultra-marginal seat…

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