Hain's Record On Arms Dealing

Peter Hain had a shocker on Question Time, being jeered and booed by the audience for his take on Britain selling arms to Libya:

If we found, as we did in some instances that they were not being used for the license they had been granted for… If that’s the case, then it was wrong to sell them and we wouldn’t do it again…

Which would of course be too late…

Hain’s ministerial record on arms dealing is far from squeaky clean:

Peter Hain, the Foreign Office minister with responsibility for Africa, yesterday told The Independent on Sunday that the Government would investigate the deal if any substantiated allegations were made… “nobody could object to Britain selling arms to South Africa”.

On the BBC’s Today programme ….

…the Foreign Office minister Peter Hain gave his personal assurance that new Labour had never sold arms to any government that used them for internal repression. At last month’s Farnborough arms fair, weapons and all manner of war equipment were on offer to Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey…

The Campaign Against the Arms Trade said: “The public were outraged and shocked in the role the UK had in being a major supplier of arms to countries like Indonesia. The fact that the government finally brought in an embargo given the atrocities in East Timor just recently shows that the public has become very concerned about where we are selling arms too.” However, Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain insisted the government had acted ethically and openly in its arms sales policy.

His conversion to the cause of peace seems to coincide with him being out of office…

Quote of the Day

Peter Hain says of Ed Balls immigration plans…

“It’s a basic article of faith of the European Union, the free movement of labour and free trade… It’s in the Treaty of Rome.  So the chances of changing that are about the same as the chances of going on holiday to Mars.”

Hain's Political Lobbying Firm

The Sunday Times has uncovered that Peter Hain, despite being made Welsh secretary in Gordon’s last barrel scraping re-shuffle, is still a partner in a firm that specialises in political communications. HaywoodHain, a consultancy set up with his second-wife claimed to have a “detailed understanding of the political landscape in the UK” on its website and used Hain’s London home as the office address. No conflict of interest there…

Hain Humiliation Scheduled for 3.30pm

Peter Hain is due to apologise to the House at 3.30pm via a personal statement. Will he try to claim his reputation and integrity are untainted?

Don’t think so Peter. After all, paying your 80-year-old mother thousands of pounds out of public funds to do constituency work when she is never seen in the constituency office is somewhat questionable. That fiddle can’t be blamed on someone else or even his own incompetence.

Does Hain Still Have Campaign Debts?

Peter Black draws our attention to the continuing blame game between Peter Hain and his disgraced former campaign manager, Steve Morgan.

Morgan is widely believed in Labour circles to have been the reason the campaign’s financial reporting went so badly wrong. Morgan is retaliating by casting aspersions on Hain, “My main disagreement with Peter was, and remains, the fact that he was not prepared to pay the Labour Party the full money owed to them on those donations under the rules of the Leadership contest.”

Guido calculated in January 2008 that Hain still had campaign debts outstanding of £41,200, comprised of a 15% tributeto the Labour Party of £16,200 on funds raised under party rules and a debt to Willie Nagel, a diamond broker and former Tory supporter for repayment of an interest-free loan of £25,000.

The £16,200 has still not, according to the Electoral Commission, been paid by Hain to the Labour Party. Harriet Harman and the other candidates struggled to pay off their campaign debts, why should Hain be forgiven the debt just because he was incompetent? Have they written off Hain’s debt as a bad debt? Is it still outstanding?

+++ Hain Slammed by Standards and Privileges Committee +++

Guido is reading the report:

  • Hain blames Steve Morgan for the original failure to register donations.
  • Accepts he was personally at fault after campaign ended.

Committee concludes:

We agree with the Commissioner that Mr Hain’s failure to register donations on this scale is both serious and substantial. We are bound to take this into account, notwithstanding the facts that Mr Hain has apologised unreservedly, and that he acted with commendable speed to rectify his omissions once he discovered them, without waiting for others to invite him to do so. Because of the seriousness and scale of this breach and noting the considerable, justified public concern that it has created, we would ordinarily have been minded to propose a heavier penalty. However, we accept that there was no intention to deceive and Mr Hain has already paid a high price for his omissions. We therefore recommend that Mr Hain apologise by means of a personal statement on the floor of the House.

The Resurrection of Saint Hain

Harold Evans in the Guardian this morning defends Hain on the grounds that “everyone does it”. The “it” being late declaration or non-declaration of donations. Tell that to a judge.There was an absolutely nauseating revision of history by Hain himself in the Guardian immediately after the decision not to prosecute was announced. In it he made the preposterous claim that

“… when, to my horror, I discovered the problem, I went straight to the commission, and also told the media. There was no exposure by tabloid or political opponents. It was me who outed me …”

Hold on a second Peter, didn’t you tell the press last April:

“I have felt since February last year and throughout the course of my deputy leadership campaign and its aftermath that I was increasingly the victim of scapegoating and dirty tricks. Someone has persistently been sending material designed to discredit me to the right wing Guido Fawkes website. Some of the material has also been sent to the Western Mail…. There has been a concerted attempt to get the Guido Fawkes website to run damaging stories about the campaign.”

Printing the truth is such a “dirty trick” isn’t it?

Guido knew his accounts were fishy as early as May 2007 and revealed on the morning of Dec 3, 2007 details of an undeclared donation, Guido contacted Hain’s SpAd Joe Carberry with the details, later that afternoon Hain went to the Electoral Commission.

So when Hain says there was no exposure by opponents and he outed himself he is not only being untruthful, he is contradicting himself. If Guido and the Guardian’s own David Hencke, hadn’t been digging relentlessly I very much doubt Hain would have come clean.

Peter is very keen to rehabilitate himself and to that end is peddling another myth: that he was cleared. He wasn’t cleared, he just was not prosecuted. Not proven guilty is not the same as innocent.

David Hencke expressed surprise yesterday that no one could be held responsible for undeclared donations totalling £100,000, half of which came from the mysterious Progressive Policies Forum.

Phil Taylor, the former Hain SpAd who quit working for Hain after Guido exposed him working on the leadership campaign at the taxpayer’s expense, had a revealing Facebook exchange last week which deserves wider circulation:Sleazy lobbyist Steve Morgan is desperately trying to put the blame on Phil Taylor for unreported donations that arrived after he had quit the campign. If Hain couldn’t be charged as the regulated donee, surely Steve Morgan, who took over as campaign manager after Phil Taylor resigned, should be held responsible. His office collected the cheques and he was the campaign manager.

Hain is already trying to portray himself as an innocent victim of his underlings incompetence, despite legally the buck stopping with him. He clearly needs someone he can trust and rely on in his personal office. Just as well he “employs” his 80 year-old mother at the taxpayer’s expense to look after his interests, such a shame she never actually visits his office…

Hain : CPS Statement in Full

CPS decides no charges for Peter Hain MP

5 December 2008

The Crown Prosecution Service has today advised all concerned parties that there is insufficient evidence to charge Peter Hain MP with any offences in relation to donations made to Mr Hain’s campaign to support his bid to become Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in mid 2007.

Stephen O’Doherty, reviewing lawyer from the CPS Special Crime Division said: “Although Mr Hain did not report all regulated donations to the Electoral Commission within the 30 days stipulated by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, in order to prove a criminal breach of the Act the Crown must first prove that Mr Hain held the position of either a ‘regulated donee’ or, if operating via a ‘members association’ he was the ‘person responsible for dealing with donations to the association’.

“The evidence in this case shows that Mr Hain’s campaign was run through an organisation named ‘Hain4Labour’ which was made up of members of the Labour Party. That organisation had its own bank account and the funds for Mr Hain’s campaign were solicited for that account and cheques donated were made out to that account. Those were all characteristics of a ‘members association’ as defined in the Act. Mr Hain was not a signatory to that account and did not direct where funds should be spent.

“In light of this evidence, I have concluded that Mr Hain was not the ‘regulated donee’ and nor was he the person responsible for dealing with donations to the association under the terms of the PPERA.”

“As to who should have been responsible for reporting these regulated donations, it is not possible to prove from the evidence available that any other individuals involved with Mr Hain’s campaign fell into the category of being either the regulated donee or the person responsible for dealing with donations. Accordingly I have advised the police to take no further action.”

Following a review into donations received to support Mr Hain’s election campaign by the Electoral Commission, the matter was referred for investigation to the Metropolitan Police Service in January 2008. Following their investigation, a file was submitted to the CPS in July 2008.

So you can raise some £100,000 without declaring it to the Electoral Commission in support of an elected politician using a shady “think tank” / slush fund and get away with it, so long as you muddy the waters enough. The Progressive Policies Forum was a slush fund. It had done nothing, had undertaken no known political activity, had no employees, no policies and there was no forum or indeed any meeting ever. When it quacks like a slush fund, acts like a slush fund and washes money like a slush fund, it is a slush fund.

Was it really not possible for the CPS to prove who was responsible for dealing with donations? Some donations we know were sent to the offices of Morgan Allen Moore, Steve Morgan was running the campaign. Steve Morgan, told Radio Wales on January 8, 2008 that he had been brought in to the campaign to “bring order to chaos”.

Here is a clue*:

—–Original Message—–
From: Huw Roberts [mailto:huw@huwrobertsassociates.com]
Sent: 24 April 2007 16:23

To: ian@tmcommunications.net; alan.cummins@waitrose.com; ‘Dai Davies’; russell.goodway@thechamberofcommerce.org.uk; showell@freshwater-uk.com; gary.mawer@up-ltd.co.uk; kate.lewis@morganallenmoore.com;
frank.specsavers@virgin.net;
nigel.roberts@paramountinteriors.com;john@clearco.co.uk

Cc: steve.morgan@morganallenmoore.com; andrew.bold@walesoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Subject: Dinner

Dear all

Thank you all for joining us at dinner last night. I thought it was a thoroughly enjoyable event as well as very helpful to Peter’s campaign. As I am now off to France to recuperate, Kate Lewis has very kindly agreed to follow up on the delicate matter of the contributions to the campaign fund.

Cheques, made payable to “Hain4Labour” should be sent to Kate at Morgan, Allen, Moore, Bay Chambers, West Bute Street, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5BB.

Best wishes,

Huw

Is it really impossible to determine who on the campaign team was responsible for donations?


Bear in mind, if Hain had “bought the election” having spent double the expenditure of the other candidates, he would now be deputy leader of the party of government, and beholden to secret donors unknown to us. That is not a minor technicality.

*The authenticity of this email was confirmed by Huw Roberts to the journalist Martin Shipton of the Western Mail.

Hain : Foreign Funded Electoral Strategy Conference “This is Not a Labour Party Event”

Hain is trying to spin his way out of trouble claiming that the conference he has organised is not an official Labour Party event. It is quite clear that it is a Labour Party supporting event and attended by party members and their German allies.

He is therefore in receipt of declarable benefit in kind under Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

Part IV Control of donations to registered parties and their members etc.
Chapter I Donations to registered parties
Donations for purposes of Part IV

51 Sponsorship

(1) For the purposes of this Part sponsorship is provided in relation to a registered party if—

(a) any money or other property is transferred to the party or to any person for the benefit of the party, and

(b) the purpose (or one of the purposes) of the transfer is (or must, having regard to all the circumstances, reasonably be assumed to be)—

(i) to help the party with meeting, or to meet, to any extent any defined expenses incurred or to be incurred by or on behalf of the party, or

(ii) to secure that to any extent any such expenses are not so incurred.

(2) In subsection (1) “defined expenses” means expenses in connection with—

(a) any conference, meeting or other event organised by or on behalf of the party;

(b) the preparation, production or dissemination of any publication by or on behalf of the party; or

(c) any study or research organised by or on behalf of the party.

Clearly if only the Labour Party is benefiting from this conference it is a declarable donation. The Bevan Foundation took the view that it was a party political event and withdrew – quite rightly.

Hain can try to argue differently until he is blue (rather than orange) in the face, here is the evidence of the conference agenda that shows that when Hain told local reporters “This is not a Labour Party event” yesterday, he was lying:

Winning Economically

Get your own at Scribd or explore others:
It is clear that the purpose of the event is to assist the Labour Party, it is designed to help the Labour Party win and concerned only with helping Labour secure power in Wales. Hain is breaking the terms of the Act in organising this by accepting a donation from an inpermissable donor.

Welsh Charitable Think Tank Pulls Out of Hain Organised Event Electoral Commission to Examine Foreign Funding

Peter Hain has organised a conference today in his Neath constituency on “Winning Economically, Winning Politically”. Labour politicians and German SPD politicians will be discussing strategy and tactics in a session titled “What was done, what went wrong and how to win back voter support”. The event is financially supported by the SPD’s Friedrich Ebert Stiftung think tank. The Welsh Bevan Foundation, an educational charity, was co-sponsoring it.

On Tuesday following complaints made by Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price, the Bevan Foundation pulled out because it feared its charitable status could be compromised.

Price wrote to the Bevan Foundation’s director Victoria Winckler:

“You will no doubt be aware that the Charity Commission began a formal inquiry into the Smith Institute last year occasioned by not dissimilar circumstances, after the Democratic political consultant Robert Shrum was shown to have given electoral advice to Labour Party members based on US experience.

Commenting on the publication of its report into the institute’s political activity, Andrew Hind, the chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: ‘Trustees of charitable think tanks have a responsibility to ensure the political neutrality of the work they do. When a charity operates close to the political environment, it must safeguard its independence and ensure that any involvement it has with political parties is balanced.’

Clearly the event was political, Price was entirely right to cite the Smith Institute precedent. The Bevan Foundation secretary Mick Antoniw now says:

“Our reputation is everything and because of the concerns raised and the advice the trustees have received, the foundation will be withdrawing from the event….”

Price is not letting the matter rest: “I will be writing to the Electoral Commission as to whether the funding of what in the afternoon is effectively a Labour election strategy seminar amounts to an impermissible donation. I will also be asking the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to investigate whether the involvement of Peter Hain’s political researcher in organising the conference in any way constitutes a misuse of parliamentary resources.”

Hain is a creature of habit, once again another think tank’s funds are being used to further his political ambitions. Just as with the Progressive Policies Forum there appears to be a case to answer for breaches of electoral law – a foreign foundation funding electoral strategy advice is illegal. You would have thought given he is currently under police investigation for funding irregularities Hain would be more cautious, he already has one criminal conviction, he is asking for another…

Full story in the Western Mail.

+++ Hain : New Think Tank Funding Controversy +++

… more to follow.

Hain Brought to Book

The news that Peter Hain is working on a biography of Nelson Mandela is very disappointing. Guido was hoping that Hain, who already has a criminal conviction for conspiracy, might start work on a follow-up to his 1984 book, Political Trials in Britain (still available on Amazon.)

There should be an opportunity to update it with topical first hand reports. That is if the CPS decides, for once, to prosecute a politician who breaks the law. Scotland Yard has handed over the file to the CPS. Just to re-cap, over a hundred thousand pounds was mysteriously laundered through a slush fund called the Progressive Policies Forum. Nobody had heard of this before and none of the donations were declared. Steve Morgan his campaign manager blames everyone else, Hain blames him. We all eagerly await their day in Court…

Morgan Allen Moore Libel Case Close to Collapse

Readers may or may not know that Peter Hain’s campaign manager’s lobby firm, Morgan Allen Moore, was suing for defamation the person who reported them to the lobby industry’s APPC disciplinary committee over their role in his campaign. Notice that they did not seek to sue Guido for defamation. The whole purpose of the lawsuit was to halt the progress of the disciplinary committee investigation by making it sub judice and quash the complaint by pressurising James Davenport into withdrawing for fear of legal expenses and a lengthy case. To his credit he has refused to back down.
The central allegation made here and repeated in Davenport’s formal complaint was that Steve Morgan and Morgan Allen Moore provided undeclared services to Peter Hain’s campaign in terms of staff and resources in breach of the rules.

In a sworn statement provided to the Court, Richard Moore, Steve Morgan’s co-director denied this was true. Devastating documentary evidence has come to light directly contradicting Richard Moore’s claim. The evidence reveals that donors were instructed to send Hain4Labour campaign donations to the Morgan Allen Moore office where the cheques would be processed by Morgan Allen Moore staff.

So Guido is happy to repeat that Morgan the Organ’s MAM office was effectively Hain’s campaign base and that MAM staff such as Kate Lewis were running the campaign. This clearly breaks the APPC’s Code of Conduct.

Guido is happy to testify and provide the evidence…

Setting the Story Straight on Hain’s “Surreal” Conspiracy Theory

Some readers have been asking about the Western Mail story about fake emails where Peter Hain dons the cloak of victimhood and complains of a dirty tricks vendetta against him involving Guido. The story has now hit the news wires. This is Guido’s side of the story.
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Hain’s Future Picture Cloudy

Guido previously suggested that Peter Hain could find an alternative career as a politico-celebrity endorser of commercial services.

Alas perhaps this is not to be, Hain’s ringing commerical endorsement of Picture Financial Services plc has not helped the business. It closed to new business in February as it got into financial difficulties and is now rumoured to be about to change hands in a fire-sale for 1p.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Sad ex-SpAd Slacker

Matthew Burchell, Hain’s former special adviser, is finding the pace outside of the public sector a little bracing. A month after becoming unemployed he has yet to get round to writing his CV if this status update on Facebook is anything to go by.
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Exclusive : Leaked Email Reveals Another Undeclared Hain Donation

The Association of Professional Political Consultants emergency meeting of its management committee scheduled for today will consider a complaint about Steve Morgan of Morgan Allen Moore, (“MAM”) the public aff­airs firm linked to the Peter Hain’s donations.
Morgan the Organ not only made a £5,000 donation to the fake think-tank and allowed the Hain4Labour campaign to use MAM off­ices.
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Hain Alternative Jobs Competition Winner

There was one diamond in the rough out of the competition entries from BrianSJ:

I think that Peter Hain would be ideal as the next James Bond. Bond has very little time for bean counters and paperwork, he has a high opinion of himself and he bends a few rules if that helps.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

APPC Calls Emergency Meeting Over Hain Lobby Firm

PR Week is reporting that the spin industry’s self regulatory organisation, the Association of Professional Political Consultants, has called an emergency meeting of its management committee on 28 January to look into a complaint about Morgan Allen Moore, the public aff­airs firm linked to the Peter Hain’s donations.
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Competition : Alternative Career Suggestions for Hain

Now he has more time on his hands we should really be charitable and come up with a few suggestions for alternative careers for Peter Hain. He is after all heavily in debt, owing campaign debts of £41,200.

He needs the money.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

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