The fallout from Tony Blair’s £106,000 donation to Labour target seat candidates continues as a second candidate refuses to take his blood money. Yesterday Guido revealed in the Sun on Sunday that Northampton candidate (and former Blairite) Sally Keeble was in line to receive Blair’s cash despite being a vocal critic of the former PM. She has now given the money back:
“The £1,000 donations are being offered to key seats – of which we were one. I have emailed them back to say we won’t be accepting.”
Yesterday Labour’s Dundee East candidate also said thanks but no thanks:
Received donation from Tony Blair. Instinct was to not accept. Discussed with team. Dundee East is not accepting the £1000.
— Lesley Brennan (@LesleyEastend) March 8, 2015
To attention seeking Labour candidate rejecting TB money 1. He won more Labour seats than anyone 2. Tories are loaded 3. Do you want to win?
— Alastair Campbell (@campbellclaret) March 9, 2015
Attention seeking she may be, but it’s not like she lied to start a war, eh Al?
Before he was taking Blair’s cash, Labour’s Norwich South candidate Clive Lewis said of the former PM: “History will be his judge.” He sneered: “Tony, baby – stick to your fluffy Christmas cards. You had your chance.”
Rupa Huq, Labour’s candidate in Ealing, was also a fierce Blair critic, arguing the “legitimacy” of the Iraq War has been “demolished”.
Caitlin Bisknell, who is running in High Peak, admits “we didn’t have the evidence at the time”, while Brighton Kemptown candidate Nancy Platts warns “the Iraq War was the tipping point… some Labour voters, members and activists were lost for good”.
Brighton Pavilion candidate Purna Sen even went on marches in London, Oslo and the Middle East protesting against the war.
Several of the aspiring MPs given cash by Blair have sat in the Commons before: Bob Blizzard, David Drew and John Grogan all voted against the war in 2003.
How many more will stick to their principles and hand back the cash – which Blair is effectively laundering from foreign dictatorships – before the day is out?