Tories: Jean Edwards’ Cash Will Go to Debt Reduction

The Tories have announced that the £520,000 donation from Jean Edwards “will be used to reduce the national debt.”

Given that we owe more than £1,390,000,000,000 and rising, Tory MP Douglas Carswell points out:

“We’d need over 200,000 bequests like Ms Edwards’ this year just to stop national debt from continuing to rise.”

What a mess.

Estate-Gate: Clegg and Cameron Backtrack

And so the War of Joan’s Donation was all over before elevensies. First the LibDems and then very swiftly the Tories declared they would be paying the money to the Treasury. The Tories are blaming the executors of the will for telling them it was a party donation, but someone should have spotted this giant comm-tastrophe on the horizon and done some further due diligence. Questions still remain about how this decision was really reached. Congratulations to Clegg for sensing the backlash marginally quicker than his coalition partners, not that it stopped the cash-strapped LibDems from snatching up the money straight away. They need it…

So now Nick Clegg has set a precedent for paying back inappropriate money received, perhaps he would now like to  give back the money from dodgy fraudster Michael Brown? And maybe the Tories could pay the money Asil Nadir donated to the Department for Justice to cover his legal aid bills? Well played to the Mail, not least for getting Polly Toynbee to sing their praises this morning.

Estate-Gate: Joan’s Will

Where is the word party?

Via the Guardian.

Joan’s Estate-Gate

The Mail have tracked down the will of Joan Edwards, Q2’s second largest donor and things have got a little murky for the Tories and the LibDems. Where it was briefed yesterday that the 90 year old deceased nurse had left the money to the party of government, the will actually states she wanted to leave her entire estate to: ‘whichever Government is in office at the date of my death for the Government in their absolute discretion to use as they may think fit’. That is not the same as giving to parties even if a friend of the late Ms Edwards says she made the money trough shares and was a Tory…

It is very hard to give money not owed to the government though. A row between the Treasury lawyers and Dominic Grieve the Tory Attorney General has broken out with the learned beancounters claiming Grieve said it should be party political donations. Grieve says the opposite and the parties are playing dumb. Guido is sceptical that they let half a million wander into their accounts without picking up a phone though. If they did not then that is a very worrying state of affairs. So if they did ask questions it stinks and if they did not it stinks. So which is it?

Q2 Party Funding Figures – Everything You Need To Know

The party funding figures are out for Quarter 2 of the year. The Tories are out front with £4,116,006 while Labour’s £3,136,447 is almost entirely from the unions. The LibDems have struggled to even raise a million with £801,448, while UKIP’s £160,289 was double what they raised in Q1.

The biggest donors were:

Unite the Union £772,195 to Labour
Ms Joan L B Edwards £420,576 to Tories
Ms Joan L B Edwards £99,423 to LibDems
GMB £485,830 to Labour
UNISON £458,080 to Labour
Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers £411,147 to Labour
Mr Michael S Farmer £280,770 to Tories
Mr James R Lupton £263,600 To Tories
National Conservative Draws Society £165,000 to Tories
CWU £143,121 to Labour
Offshore Group Newcastle Limited £117,300 to Tories

Clearly whoever Joan L B Edwards is, she really really likes the coalition. Labour got another £2,241,419 in short money, yet despite this have gone cap in hand to the bank again:

Let’s hope the Co-op bank will be able to keep up their support. Labour still have more than £12 million in outstanding loans, while the Tories owe £2m. Ker-ching.

UPDATE: According to City AM Ms Joan Edwards left half a million “to whoever was the party in government of the day”. This was then divided down the MP/Ministerial split of the coalition.

Leaked Guardian Editorial Salaries

According to the ONS the median gross annual earnings for full-time employees in 2011/12 was £26,500. A lower sum than that paid to every single full-time editorial member of staff at the Guardian. Guido has been leaked the pay structures of junior staff, and it makes for an intriguing read in these austere times. Given the interest the paper takes in how much other people are paid, it’s only fair that this document sees the light of day:

For some reason the rates for columnists and executive level staff have been left off the list. And lets not forget all those workers on zero-hour contracts that actually keep the paper and website going…

Two Faced Chuka Is Back
Umunna Slams Bookies Then Takes Their Cash

So Labour’s fightback is going well. With Ed Balls still nowhere to be seen, the cost of living campaign has been left in the expert hands of Chris Leslie and now the Standard have whacked Chuka. Despite recently pledging to ‘control the number of betting shops’ in his constituency because of the ‘huge concern that some streets in our area are steadily filling up with betting shops and payday loan companies that take advantage of our community, rather than help us’, the two-faced Shadow Business Secretary has accepted a £20,000 donation from Neil Goulden, the Chairman Emeritus of the Gala Coral Group. Coral have at least two shops in Chuka’s seat…

The Tories have returned to their favourite game, lining up Bob Neill:

“Can anyone really credibly ever believe anything Chuka Umuna says? He says one thing in public and does another behind closed doors. His hypocrisy seems to be limitless. The only thing we know he truly believes is that the capital is full of  “trash” and “c list” wannabes.”

Chuka says it’s all fine because it was a personal donation. Guido looks forward to reading about it in depth on his Wikipedia page…

UPDATE: Goulden is also head of the Association of British Bookmakers, lobbyists for the betting industry, which blows the personal donation line out of the water. Lets home Chuka remembers to declare his interest every time he speaks on the issue now.

Amazon on Dead Tree Press: Buy It Now

imageThe Washington Post has been sold for a quarter of the price that Facebook bought Instagram. It’s valuation at $250 million is $65 million less than Arianna managed to convince AOL to give her for the Huffington Post. The ultimate irony is that print is now being bought up by digital; it’s believed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is spending less than 1% of his fortune on his purchase of this American institution. If this is the price of the Post, other papers better sell up soon before their value drops even further. Guido preparing a bid for the Guardian…

UPDATE: For context:

Cruddas Says Cheers

The Sunday Times may well be appealing the case won by Peter Cruddas against their Insight team, but that has not stopped the former Tory treasurer cracking out the champers. Guido hears that Cruddas has written to a select few […]

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Unions Burning Money

Is the public sector trade union Unison getting a little jealous of all the media attention that their rivals at Unite have been getting over the last few weeks? Guido hears they are splashing out over £81,000 to hire two […]

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Mitchell’s Half-a-Million Libel Legal Debacle

sherborne

Tomorrow we will get the judgement in a bizarre legal mess up between Andrew Mitchell’s solicitors and his celebrity barrister David Sherborne.  Due to a cock-up Mitchell’s solicitors failed to file their costs and so under the tightened rules will […]

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Cash-For-Policy Tories Bash Cash-For-Policy Labour

There has been a painfully obvious concerted effort today from the Tories on Twitter to suggest Labour’s workers’ rights policy has been bought by the unions.

[…]

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Quote of the Day

Janan Ganesh on Labour’s soft left

“Ms Cooper does not believe the previous Labour government was wrong to run a fiscal deficit after 15 years of economic growth. Both she and Mr Burnham think families should be entitled to tax credits for a third child. These views are not mad. They are just a bit too left-wing for Britain. For any serious party, that amounts to the same thing. The soft left is more electable than the hard left but then Mars is more habitable than Neptune: neither planet will host human life anytime soon.”

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