Asked if Lord Levy was still the UK’s Middle East envoy, the PMOS said “yes”.
The Beeb has been very wary about the whole Loans for Lordships saga, this signals that they are starting to realise that this corruption reaches into Downing Street.
As Guido’s co-conspirator Sero points out, the ODA is far from independent of Downing Street. The board is stuffed with Tony’s cronies, not least of whom is Baroness Morgan, formerly Sally Morgan, late of the Cabinet Office. Up until June last year she was Director of Government Relations, a job which involved closely liasing with Lord Levy. Her successor as Director of Government Relations, Ruth Turner, is already under investigation in the Loans for Lordships scandal as a result of her own dealings for and with, you guessed it, Lord Levy.
From 1995 to 2002 David Higgins was the Chief Executive of the Lend Lease group in his native Australia, a company in which Frank Lowy’s Westfield holds a major shareholding. In an amazing coincidence, David Higgins was appointed by Tessa Jowell last year to be the Chief Executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority.
So was it Lord Levy or the former Director of Government Relations, Baroness Morgan that invited the head of Westfield’s British operation, Peter Allen, to attend more than one Labour Party event at Downing Street?
Lord Levy claims that the A$300,000 was for him to “advise on the UK retail market, to flesh out the shape of that market and to identify business opportunities that might suit Westfield’s scale of operations”. So which large scale business opportunities did Lord Levy identify for Lowy’s Westfield if not the Olympic Village?
However some interesting information has reached Guido from Australia about Lord Levy and foreign cash. Aussie billionaire Frank Lowy’s Westfield Group has bought the company with the contract to build the 2012 Olympic Village in London. Buying out the 50% stake held by billionaire Iranian brothers (and foes of Ken Livingstone) David and Simon Reuben. Lowy also grabbed the 25% owned by the property group Stanhope, giving his Westfield 100% of Stratford City Development.
Guido understands that Lowy wants to build a mega 2 million sq ft shopping mall in the middle of the Olympic Village. This of course needed difficult to obtain planning permission consents from government ministers in various departments in what is a politically sensitive matter.
Guido is therefore curious about the A$300,000 retainer paid to the Sleazemaster General in 2002 by Lowy. Since Sleazy Levy has no particular experience in shopping malls, being merely a former manager of Alvin Stardust and Blair’s Special Envoy to the Middle East, what possible reason is there for the billionaire to pay A$300,000 to Lord Levy for advice?
*You may get a “Conspiracy Member” T-shirt.
Is it really so surprising that she has taken “voluntary” redundancy now?
Guido understands that the Labour party is due to repay some £3 million over the next 3 months. Will these supposedly commercial loans be rolled over or written off? We were assured when the story first broke that they were to be repaid on a commercial basis. Whatever happens we will find out now that the Electoral Commission has belatedly got tough on loans. Lord Sainsbury may yet again be called upon to prop up the party which he has supported to the tune of £15 million, not counting the money he gives to New Labour supporting groups.
It is going to be a long, hot sweaty summer for a lot of Labour party apparachtiks. Yates of the Yard is conducting interviews with witnesses and suspects. Guido has received mixed messages about the timing of any action, some say it will be before the party conference, some say after. It willl overshadow September’s conference deliberations. C’mon coppers, give us the perp walk…
Guido understands that interviews, under caution, will begin next week, tactfully after Thursday’s local elections. Rumour has it that one donor in particular may cough, if the right assurances are given.
Guido is lovin’ it.
…it emerges that the Marylebone offices of the New Labour treasurer, Lord Levy, have been devastated by a mysterious fire. This took place last November, well before the police investigation began and around the time the House of Lords Appointments Commission raised the first queries concerning Tony Blair’s list. When I rang Downing Street for a reassurance that no papers relevant to the police investigation had been destroyed, I was informed that ‘that is a matter for Lord Levy’.
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Alan Milburn says Labour’s scaremongering campaign for an unreformed NHS will not win election…
“It would be a fatal mistake, in my view, for Labour to go into this election looking as though it is the party that would better resource the National Health Service but not necessarily put its foot to the floor when it comes to reforming. Look, reforms are not easy, but the Labour Party is not a conservative party. It should be about moving things forward not preserving them in aspic. You have got a pale imitation actually of the 1992 general election campaign, and maybe it will have the same outcome. I don’t know.”