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Asked five times by Jim Naughtie if Labour would pay back a donation if it emerged the money came from someone who had avoided tax, two-faced Chuka wouldn’t give a straight answer:
JN: Can we take it as an absolute given that if you discover that anyone who’s given money to the Labour Party has been involved in aggressive tax avoidance, you give the money back?
CU: I think the Labour Party would think twice about accepting money from people who fit the description that you give…
JN: No, simple question: If you’ve taken it, from somebody who is discovered to have been involved in aggressive tax avoidance, will you give the money back?
CU: Well I’m not aware that we have taken money from anybody who’s engaged….
JN: No, but if it emerged, nor am I, but if it emerged that, are you going to be as good as your word? If it emerged, would you give that money back?
CU: Well as I said, I think the Labour Party found out that somebody was engaged in aggressive tax avoidance, we’d think twice before taking the money…
JN: But if you had taken the money you’d give it back?
CU: Well I’m not, I mean, you’re asking me a hypothetical question, because I’m not aware that we have taken it…
JN: Well most questions in the run up to an election are hypothetical. You’re talking about hypothetical questions about what you would do with business if you became a government. You aren’t a government. Therefore that’s hypothetical, this is hypothetical. Answer the question. If the money came from a tax dodger, would you give it back?
CU: Well I’m not aware that it has, that we have received any monies from people engaging in aggressive tax avoidance.
Well they wouldn’t want to give back those millions of pounds of cash from tax-avoiding Unite, would they? On Thursday the Electoral Commission releases the next donor data dump. Almost as if Chuka knows Labour’s backers aren’t as pious as the party’s leadership…
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