Tories To Propose Party Funding Caps Tomorrow

Indications are that an attempt at agenda seizing will be made by the Tories with an announcement tomorrow. They will advocate limits on individual donations (thought to be as low as in the thousands). If true it could be a clever ruse, firstly it puts the Labour party on the back foot on the whole Loans for Lordships issue and shows leadership on the odourous political funding agenda.

Tim Montgomerie has been campaigning for a £100,000 limit on party donations, which seems reasonable, but Guido expects the proposed cap to be in five-figures. The effect of this will be that non-party organisations will get funding (as with political action committees in the U.S.). Effectively political funding will be diversified and less controlled centrally by the parties, this can only be a good thing. The situation where the Labour party is funded and controlled from within No. 10 is just unhealthy. The Sunday Telegraph reports that;

A certificate putting forward a nominee for a peerage – and misleadingly stating they did not have a financial relationship with the party – was filled in inside No 10… Ruth Turner, the Prime Minister’s head of government relations, played a key part in arranging the application, as well as at least one other. They were then taken to the hospital bedside of Ian McCartney, the Labour Party chairman, who signed them. The certificates were then sent to the House of Lords Appointments Commission, whose members are understood to be “concerned” that they might have been misled about the financial relationship between nominees for peerages and political parties.

If true it will implicate No. 10 with involvement in Lying for Loans for Lordships. A potentially lethal development.

Incidentally on Betfair the “Blair Switch” market has seen the odds on Blair going this summer slashed in the last few days. The odds on him going between April and June have dropped from 8/1 to 4/1 and between July and September from 10/1 to 6/1. Guido has been backing him to go in September as a consequence of a stalking horse candidate coming forward or even a real election challenge at the Labour party conference. There is a mechanism in the Labour party constitution to allow this, 52 MPs rebelled in the Education Bill, Jack Dromey and the TGWU are getting restless, Brown’s smile is wearing thin – are we at the tipping point? Punters seem to be thinking we could be…

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Quote of the Day

Writing in this week’s Spectator Diary, the former Chancellor and Evening Standard editor attempted to encapsulate how Boris operates…

“My children have the measure of our prime minister. A couple of years ago, my son and I went for a lovely Sunday lunch at his house in Oxfordshire — where he has a Kalashnikov mounted on the wall. Boris suggested we play a game. A tug of war, but with a difference. The rope is tied around your waist and the contest takes place across a swimming pool. If you lose you end up in the water, fully clothed.

That’s Johnson for you: fun, inventive but ruthless. I suspect his brother Jo had one ducking too many.”


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