Guido seems to better informed about Hain’s budget than he now claims to be. Back in May Guido ran this story detailing his expenditure, yet he claims to have been unaware of the figures until yesterday. Guido even helpfully uploaded the campaign’s expenditure summary for co-conspirators to download here. So how come Guido knew in May and he didn’t until yesterday. Why the under-reporting? Is it because of dodgy embarrassing donors like Mendelsohn?
How come Guido knew from his own campaign’s documents these figures and he didn’t? Even the most charitable interpretation is that he is recklessly incompetent. Is he really fit to be in charge of the billions allocated by the Department for Work and Pensions. Is he really the best person to be in charge of your pension?
It is that very same law that has come back to bite Scottish Labour’s Wendy Alexander. Sean Connery will be laughing his tartan socks off.
GF I was calling about your undeclared donations to Peter Hain’s campaign
HR Who are you? What are you talking about?
HR There is a small problem with my donation. It is not my fault. He has to declare the donations, not me.
The conversation got a bit confused and fraught at this point, Huw would only concede that he had made a donation, yet despite having held fundraising dinners for Peter Hain, he would not confirm any other donations were undeclared. No donation of any kind is recorded from Huw Roberts…
UPDATE : Have just got off the phone with Joe Carberry, Hain’s SpAd, “what you have written on the blog is not true”. So is Huw Roberts lying? “I am going to put the phone down” said Carberry. Guido gets through a lot of Hain SpAds per annum, so it is understandable.
Police investigators from Operation Minerva might need to pack some sun lotion, Guido has been told the couple have have taken a month long holiday in Egypt. The detectives will want to know from where the Loot-Was-Coming…
Guido has been trying to get hold of Roy Kennedy, who was the Director of Finance and Compliance when the illegal funding operation was under way, to ask him when he knew about it, with no luck. Presumably the investigating officers from Scotland Yard’s Operation Minerva will have more luck.
Labour is trying to spread the blame, with “we’re all at it” spin lines. They keep referring to Lord Ashcroft, who makes all his donations to the Tories above board and has actually given less money than Labour’s Lord Sainsbury.
They also keep referring to “a breach of the rules”, no these are criminal acts, a breach of the law is not the same as cheating at Scrabble. They are now hiding behind the “we’re not going to give a running commentary on a police investigation” line (© T. Blair).
Another line they are using is that they have “given the money back”. They haven’t as yet. It is in any event likely to be confiscated by the Electoral Commission.
There is no real need for new laws or reviews, there is a need for politicians to simply not break the existing laws. If Labour figures had not circumvented the existing laws they would not be in trouble. The idea that this situation is just the result of one publicity shy donor is nonsense, it has nothing to do with Wendy Alexander’s problems or Harman’s second problem.
Harman’s re-mortgage of £40,000 is an illegally undeclared loan – made against her home’s presumably joint mortgage – to her leadership campaign. Technically the loan is in equal part her husband’s loan. Her husband is Jack Dromey, the Labour party Treasurer, so he has permitted an undeclared loan to be made to the Deputy Leader of the Labour party, a loan from him. That is prima facie an illegal loan by two of the very highest ranking officials. She broke not only the spirit but letter of the law – in two instances – the loan and the proxy donation. Harman, the former Solicitor General, should face charges as a consequence.