While the village enjoys a day of bun fighting about unions and Sure-Start centres, how better to escape the toil of the frontline than heading north to Marble Arch for a long relaxing lunch at Locanda Locatelli. Over the £30 per plate coniglio arrosto, or the tagliatelle di castagne ai funghi selvatici Sarah Brown lunched with her husband’s very own dodgy, expenses fiddling, pension raiding, non-dom donor, Lord Swraj Paul. Unusually for Sarah, she hasn’t tweeted this.
Labour have tried to distance themselves from Lord Paul, who Gordon made a Privy Counsellor, despite no obvious qualifications beside deep pockets. To have their “secret weapon” Sarah grinning through anecdotes and stories shows just how keen they are to keep their purse-string holder happy. Wonder who picked up the cheque?
Hat-tip: EyeSpyMP (with a little help from Photoshop).
UPDATE : The Eye Spies inform us that the long lunch finished at three thirty. Something tells Guido that Sarah wouldn’t have been so quick to tweet about her outing had she not been busted with Labour’s persona non grata. Kids? He is the Labour Party’s piggy bank more like…
Non-domiciled Lord Paul of Marylebone, donated over £355,000 to Labour and £45,000 directly into Gordon’s 2007 leadership campaign. Despite his huge wealth he still found it appropriate to claim £38,000 from the taxpayers in Lord’s accommodation expenses despite, by his own admission, having never spent a night in the property. He is reportedly set to quit the House of Lords, not over his expense claims, but to avoid tax.
Lord Paul has been Brown’s very own non-dom donor and has been repaid handsomely by Labour with a peerage, membership of the Privy Council and until his recent expenses scandal was the Deputy Leader of the House of Lords. So close is Lord Paul to Gordon that he was willing to personally bankroll the autumn election that never happened in 2007. Paul said “All I know is that if there is an election and the money is wanted, whatever I can pay I will. I am a believer in Gordon Brown and his leadership, and I think he’s the best person in the country.” Hence Guido’s amusement today to hear that Paul is ready to jump ship. He is considering whether to give up his seat in the Lords to avoid having to pay tax in the UK. Which shows where his priorities really lay…
Labour has attacked Lord Ashcroft while turning a blind eye to the activities of one of their biggest donors. Lord Paul has refused to pay tax in this country yet is greeted with open arms by the Labour leadership desperate to get their grubby fingers on some of his controversially raised fortune. Paul is ranked the 88th richest man, living, in the UK. This nom-dom, expenses fiddling, conglomerate owning peer has some interesting skeletons in his cupboard to which Guido will be returning. How he amassed his fortune will turn the stomachs of many Labour supporters…
Paul Green also admitted that he gave two personal cheques of £950 which would have put him over the £1000 barrier and shown he was an impermissible offshoredonor.
Guido predicted that “there is no wriggle room. She is on the hook completely”. So it turned out, eventually.
*N.B. Incidentally, Guido was accused by Labour supporters of forging the letter.
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…
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.
Not exactly the picture of success envisioned by Hain in his endorsement.
Elsewhere Morgan Allan Moore, the spin firm that ran Hain’s leadership campaign and secured his endorsements for clients who were donors, had lined up to be taken over in a multi-million pound deal. Alas as the company has become mired in an ethical standards inquiry that deal has been aborted. Hain has not brought good fortune to his friends.
Most serious of all, the ongoing police investigation has, it is rumoured, uncovered some interesting spending by Hain’s campaign that might not please the GMB brothers.
Guido suspects the union members will not appreciate the way their hard-earned subs were spent by the champagne swilling radical…