The London Evening Standard
is reporting rumours that are flying around that the Benn deputy leadership campaign was offered and turned down illegal funding organised by Jon Mendelsohn. Which would explain why Baroness Jay is being so tight-lipped.
“We were approached by Mendelsohn. He rang up to say he had ways of supporting people. He said he was close to Gordon and was going to help with his leadership campaign. We discussed things but it became clear early on what he was talking about. He said there were people who want to make donations but they can’t be in the public domain. He said he could facilitate moving money around through a network of other people. He said ‘don’t worry, there’s nothing dodgy about it’. I ran a mile and said ‘thanks but no thanks’. A source close to Mr Mendelsohn revealed that he had met Gareth Thomas MP, a member of Hilary Benn’s campaign, for a cup of coffee and had mentioned how difficult it was to get donations because of the cash for honours affair. The source suggested that there were Labour supporters ready to offer funds, but Mr Mendelsohn categorically denies any suggestion he raised the idea of using third parties.”
Looks like the Labour knives are out. If Harman is forced out of course one of the other rivals could take her place – perhaps Hilary Benn…