So Gordon, About Your Dodgy Non-Doms…

Lord Paul put up one fifth of the money for Gordon’s leadership campaign – such as it was. Will he be giving up his seat in the Lords or his non-domicile?  And Ronnie Cohen, PFI profiteer and non-domiciled donor? Is his money still welcome to the Labour Party?

Ashcroft Admits Non-Dom Status

Finally:

1st March 2010

A Statement From Lord Ashcroft

I am making this statement in advance of the release by the Cabinet Office of limited information about the award of my peerage and of the undertakings I gave at the time.

While I value my privacy, I do not want my affairs to distract from the general election campaign. I have therefore decided to release a copy of the letter which I wrote to William Hague, and to expand on what actually happened.

As the letter shows, the undertakings I gave were confirmed in a memorandum to William Hague dated 23rd March 2000. These were to “take up permanent residence in the UK again” by the end of that year. The other commitment in the memorandum was to resign as Belize’s permanent representative to the UN, which I did a week later.
In subsequent dialogue with the Government, it was officially confirmed that the interpretation in the first undertaking of the words “permanent residence” was to be that of “a long term resident” of the UK. I agreed to this and finally took up my seat in the House of Lords in October 2000. Throughout the last ten years, I have been declaring all my UK income to HM Revenue.

My precise tax status therefore is that of a “non-dom”. Two of Labour’s biggest donors – Lord Paul (recently made a privy councillor by the Prime Minister) and Sir Ronald Cohen, both long-term residents of the UK, are also “non-doms”.

As for the future, while the non-dom status will continue for many people in business or public life, David Cameron has said that anyone sitting in the legislature – Lords or Commons – must be treated as resident and domiciled in the UK for tax purposes. I agree with this change and expect to be sitting in the House of Lords for many years to come.

Ashcroft has forgotten about Lakshmi Mittal, another non-dom who, like Sir Ronnie (pictured) and Lord Paul, is inclined to bung Labour a couple of million when the feeling takes him.  Guido has argued that Ashcroft should come clean for years…

See : Ashcroft Should Just Come CleanAshcroft Should Come Clean

Via ConservativeHome

Pound Sinking on Hung Parliament Fears

The pound has just fallen through the psychologically important €0.90 cents to the pound level, if it were not Greece we would now have £/€ parity.  It is sinking against the dollar as well. Think what a hung parliament and the inevitable political paralysis would mean for deficit reduction.  Markets would go into a tailspin, the cost of borrowing would rise. We would be looking at a Greek tragedy…

UPDATE : Gilt market has opened down as well.   The market has already removed the Triple-A rating on UK government debt.

Monday Morning Cartoon

Saturday Seven Up

7upIf you were not one of the 72,998 visitors viewing 379,485 pages over the last seven days, here are the seven most popular stories (in order of popularity) that you missed:

Guidogram Going Out Shortly

In this week’s Guy News Guido sent Emily to branch out to poor abused Downing Street staffers, we are live from Steve Hilton’s Californian Kitchen and TB reports on a rather special date.

If you haven’t subscribed to the Guidogram, you’ll have to wait until next week…

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Telegraph Digging on Dave’s School-days


There are two possible angles to this story, either the cutting edge digital Telegraph team is preparing an attack on Dave using social media to harvest information in the run up to the election. Or given it’s Friday and all, hacks have sunk to new lows in lazy attempts at sniffing out a story. So look out for some inane rumours and anecdotes about Dave’s early days in the next week – you know were they came from now. Heidi Blake looks like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, but perhaps she should have paused to think Dave’s old school chums might be a little more loyal than that.

Friday Caption Contest (Bully Boy Edition)

Silence is Deadly

While the limos may not be circling Parliament Square just yet, it is worth noting the intense speculation that something is up at Downing Street today. The polls are tightening, the recession figures could be spun well and Dave and […]

+ READ MORE +

Revised GDP Figure 0.3%

The ONS have revised the Q4 growth figure from a sickly 0.1% to a meagre 0.3%. An improvement but still nothing to be cheery about. What this figure does do though is decrease the chances that on 23rd April Britain […]

+ READ MORE +

+ + +BBC Source: News Team on “Red Alert” For Election Call + + +

UPDATE: Guido understands that the BBC political teams have been told not to go away over the weekend.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Self-Harman

For all their talk of engaging online and being so technically advanced, sometimes politicians painfully show just how of touch they really are. Most Twitter users at some point in the last week would have received a message from one […]

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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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