However, Offences under the 1889 & 1906 Act require the consent of the Attorney General. Guido forsees a snag here. Lord Peter Goldsmith, the Attorney General, was made a Life Peer by Blair in 1999.
So when Hugo Rifkind, excitedly emailed yesterday (he has long since forgiven Guido for certain, perhaps harsh comments, about his father) to say “I have a blog“. “Calm down dear” was all Guido could muster, “it’s only a blog”. It is content richer than the diary, with comments and stuff. Much better than his dead tree version. It even has a blogroll. It is here that we see the novice blogger showing through. Apart from the obvious oversight of a link to Guido, it has a link to Matt Drudge’s Drudge Report - except it doesn’t. It links to www.drudgereport.co.uk, a UK based cyber squatter. Best correct both those mistakes simultaneously.
Anyway, go to Hugo’s blog and make a comment. Show him some love, go on, do it for Rupert.
BBC reports at 17:00 GMT
Press Association reported at 17:21 GMT
Guido reported it this morning at 11:33 GMT
Capita has contracts, largely with government controlled entities, worth £3 billion. Capita dominates government outsourcing with 34% of the market in administration and processing for government departments and local councils. In 2004, 52% of Capita’s revenue came from public sector outsourcing, £1.3 billion in revenue due largely to an explosion in demand for its services in line with New Labour’s controversial outsourcing policy.
Government relations is clearly of critical importance to Capita. So a £1m secret loan from the CEO to the governing party at the request of the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy is of public interest.
Guido has a lot of questions for Ruth Turner, the most important being, did she at any time have any dealings with Capita, its lobbyists or the CEO, ?
Sir Ian Blair
New Scotland Yard
Thursday 16th March 2006
Dear Sir Ian,
I am writing to you regarding the growing circumstantial evidence surrounding the alleged selling of peerages. I am sure you will be aware of the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925. Section 1 (1) states that:
“If any person accepts, obtains or agrees to accept or obtain from any person, for himself or for any other person, or for any purpose, any gift, money or valuable consideration as an inducement or reward for procuring or assisting or endeavouring to procure the grant of a dignity or title of honour to any person or otherwise in connection with such a grant, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.”
The body of evidence in the Sunday Times dossier is incredibly damning. With 80 pence in every £1 going donated to the Labour party by individuals comes from people who have been honoured. Every donor who has given the party more than £1 million has been given a knighthood or a peerage.
There is also the refusal of the House of Lords Appointments Commission to accept recent nominations from the Labour Party to consider. This would appear to be a case for investigation under this Act to see if any criminality has taken place.
Three quarters of those individuals who have given more than £50 000 to the Labour Party since 2001 have received an honour.
I urge you to open an investigation into this very serious matter.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Angus MacNeil MP
Na h-Eileanan an Iar
Now if Lord Levy, Tony Blair’s special envoy and tennis buddy, reminds you of all the good things the Labour party has done; public-private partnerships, outsourcing, privatising the collection of the TV licence, privatising the keeping of criminal records, congestion charging, bringing in management consultancies to government departments and councils. Well, if he asked you to do a good turn, you would want to, wouldn’t you?
If you had £3.4 billion of business in the pipeline, wouldn’t it be a good idea to be helpful? Could it be anything but good for business?
No one would know, it would be secret, this thing would be a little secret. Only you, Lord Levy and a few people in Downing Street would know. Tony Blair would know. That could only be good, couldn’t it? They might do another good thing for you. Yes. “Lord Aldridge”, that would be good…
They paid £640,000 interest on “Bank loans” implying a commercially competitive rate of 5.56% from the Co-Op and trade union backed Unity bank. Note 17 of the Financial Statement shows the loan repayment schedule, it also has under the heading “Other Loans” nothing listed for 2004. So presumably the £14 million of Loans for Lordships was all raised in 2005, at a rate of more than a million a month? Page 14 of the report lists the individuals and organisations who gave over £5,000. Notable is pint-sized Derek Tullett (in for, we now know, £400,000). Tullet is a City moneybroker and bitter rival of Michael Spencer, the Tory moneybags backer. Derek’s management practises include forcing underperfoming Jewish staff to dress up in Nazi uniforms – which resulted in a hefty six-figure compensation payout at an industrial tribune.
Guido notices that Labour also raised £6 million from dinners – another shakedown that can be charged by corporations to expenses, lobbyists love this dodge. It gets round making tiresome corporate governance declarations.
We will have to wait until September to see an account for 2005, it will certainly make interesting reading. The interest bill for the Loans for Lordships should, at commercial rates, be at least £775,000. It is too late now to cook the books retrospectively. Either the interest has been paid or it hasn’t. Any attempt to cover it up at this stage will involve falsifying accounts, something the Labour party NEC will not, presumably, be in any mood to countenance. No interest payments will mean the whole “it’s a loan” thing will be proven to be a lie – but we know that already. They told us only yesterday they could not reveal the names because it was confidential. Today they broke that confidence. Things are unravelling.
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LibDem Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael:
“Chris Huhne was the man who had put the ‘t’ into ‘Cancun’.”