Guido has cast his eye over Lord Drayson before
. Remember him? The businessmen, who has been appointed as a Defence Minister, gave a £50,000 donation to the Labour party. Then had a business breakfast
with the Prime Minister, gave a second donation of £50,000 to the Labour party while the government in 2001 was weighing up who should be awarded a £32m contract to supply vaccines in case of a biological attack by terrorists. His company Powderject was bidding on the contract, fortunately for him it did not go to tender. Kippers might not have been on the breakfast menu, but it was fishy. Surprise, Powderject got awarded the contract, making a quick £20m profit on it. What value for money for the taxpayer, what a return on investment!
Loaded now, he gave another £500,000 donation to New Labour, and got made a life peer by Mr Blair six weeks later. He sold his company two years later, trousered £100 million and joins the government today. Hey, that’s politics with integrity…
The appointment was defended by Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, who said Lord Drayson was a distinguished industrialist (translated, “big donor”). Guido understands that tomorrow the Sunday Times will be highlighting some “tax efficient” structures (translated, “dodges”) he used to save himself millions via offshore trusts. Gordon Brown has been cracking down on such structures. Tsk, tsk.