According to the Brownies, as communicated via the usually reliable medium on these matters, Ben Brogan’s blog;
The new general secretary is said to be worried about the state of the party’s finances and the rules that say his personal assets could be forfeit if the party goes into liquidation. Mr Brown counters that it would never happen so the problem doesn’t arise, but has reluctantly given Mr P-W time to sort his personal finances in order and put his wealth (described to me as “low millions”) beyond reach.
Now the only way this could be done is for him to divest himself of his assets into some kind of unbreakable trust of which he was not a beneficiary. Would Gordon countenance the future General Secretary of a party mired in financial scandals involving proxy donors and illegal donations doing something that would be perceived by some as questionable? And to take all the time he likes about it? Which direction is that on the moral compass?
How many millions has the new General Secretary of the Labour Party got to put beyond reach? Well his NW5 home is probably worth a little short of £2 million. He worked for a few years at Hermes on the asset management side where he remains a director of two of their funds as well as Oxford Analytica and our old friends the IPPR. So low millions seems about right.
He was in 1997 a director of two Labour Party controlled limited liability companies, Labour Party Properties Limited and Labour Nominees Limited. Perhaps he would rather the Labour Party itself was a limited liability entity? Maybe. Certainly some are speculating along those lines. Hard to see how the party could be re-configured on that basis without the unanimous agreement of all the creditors and a vote at the party conference. There is no way that the Co-op Bank could, bearing in mind its fiduciary duties, accept such a change.
Something isn’t quite right here. Remember that originally Downing Street spin, by which we mean lies, that DPW was tied up by contractual commitments? This new line still doesn’t make any sense. Guido has a hunch that the truth is as originally reported. To Gordon’s tantrum-ridden horror, DPW simply doesn’t really want the job…