A bit of a come down after the cancelled swanky champagne and canapes fund-raiser party she planned for yesterday in a West End nightclub. Times are hard…
The multi-millionaire Folletts are no different. Ken Follett says “She spends all of her allowances and all of her salary running her office and I actually subsidise it to the tune of every year at least a hundred thousand pounds a year.”
Barbara told PinkNews that “There are no donations involved. The funds are either from my parliamentary income, or from the joint accounts that I hold with my husband, Ken Follett.” Which doesn’t really clear up the matter up does it?
“it is galling to know that millions of pounds of LDA money has allegedly not got through to the many community groups that need it most. The Mayor should now apologise for this outrageous abuse of hard-earned taxpayer’s money. We always knew the attacks on me were a put-up job, and in no sense represented the black community. The attacks are a smokescreen to hide the fact that his administration has ripped off community groups across London and failed to improve the lives of the very people he claims to champion. I am delighted that the curtain has gone up to reveal Ken pulling the levers. The incompetent puppetmaster has been exposed by his own puppets.”
Iain Dale is asking readers if they can work out why. Was it…?
A) He was scared of appearing with Ken Clarke
B) He couldn’t think how to defend Sister Wendy
C) He didn’t want to account for his role in the bottled election decision
D) He was scared of defending his role in the David Abrahams planning application
or E) All four
Another Brown bottler.
Guido is stunned that in the current circumstances the Chancellor of the Exchequer attended a Breakfast fund-raiser hosted by Deutsche Bank at their City offices on Great Winchester Street.
The invitation from Labour’s Victoria Street HQ states that “the format will follow our usual arrangements: our guest speaker will make a short address and then take questions from the floor. There will be an opportunity for guests to network…”
This morning Deutsche Bank is threatening to walk away from the Virgin Group bid for Northern Rock, because it has serious issues with Virgin’s takeover proposal. Is it really appropriate to be holding a Labour party fund-raiser at the offices of a bank bidding for Northern Rock? Doesn’t Darling see that it smacks of Cash-for-Access?
Incidentally Guido got stonewalled by government SpAds and Press Officers on this all morning. Public servants? Guido thinks not. Unfortunately for them the Deutsche Bank Press Office is more helpful.
(1) This section applies to any donation received by a registered party—
(a) which, … the party are prohibited from accepting, but
(b) which has been accepted by the party.
(2) The court may, on an application made by the Commission, order the forfeiture by the party of an amount equal to the value of the donation.
(3) The standard of proof in proceedings on an application under this section shall be that applicable to civil proceedings.
(4) An order may be made under this section whether or not proceedings are brought against any person for an offence connected with the donation.
The Electoral Commission works for you, it costs millions yet it rarely seems to show any teeth, If you think they should get on with it and confiscate the money forthwith, email email@example.com, Vera Markos – Head of Strategy and Secretary to the Commission asking them to do their statutory duty swiftly.
What are they waiting for? The Labour party admits the donations were impermissable.
Throughout this leadership contest Guido has however reduced his exposure to Clegg. It has to be said that Huhne, who has a limited likeability factor as a human, is a better campaigner. He has positioned himself on the clitoris of the activist base, painted Clegg as inept, lightweight and Cameron-in-yellow. He has also smartly jumped on Donorgate to put himself in the news. All in all, he has shown the ruthless determination of a politician who wants to win.
If he wins it will put the LibDems in the position the Tories were in under IDS. Universally derided as he was by the end of his leadership, people forget that IDS had activist adoration for his traditional Conservative views and hard line on Europe. The parliamentary Tory party was dismayed that they were saddled with IDS. Huhne has tacked left to appeal to the LibDem activists, who are far to the left of their parliamentarians and the party establishment machine.
Guido thinks it would be strategically better for the Tories to have Clegg as a leader, despite the fears that he will compete for Cameron’s votes. The most likely outcome of a general election is still a hung parliament. Clegg will be more amenable to a deal with the Tories. Guido is also beginning to wonder if Clegg might actually be a weaker campaigner than Huhne.