UPDATE : Lobbying for Olympic Profits in Downing Street

Apologists for Sleazy Levy have been on to Guido to try to deny that any influence could have been bought by Lowy’s Westfield for his A$300,000 bung. The Olympic Delivery Authority was set up precisely to to prevent that kind of thing they claim. Overlooking the fact that the relevant planning permissions for Westfield’s retail mega-development were given prior to the setting up of the ODA.

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?




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Quote of the Day

IDS responds to Juncker’s pints analogy earlier:

“Mr Juncker knows a little bit more about the bar than perhaps many of us do.”

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