What Was Sainsbury Implying?

Co-conspirator Mirthios points out in the comments this parting gem from Lord Sainsbury :

“I have had a peerage for eight or nine years, so there is no question of buying a peerage.”

Is he saying he got his before Lord Levy started stacking ’em high and selling ’em cheap?

Cash for Peerages : “The Fix” is Falling Apart

Guido has long believed that Lord Levy and others would face trial. That opinion was until recently very much a minority opinion, as late as this spring Nick Robinson and Michael White were telling us that the police would only go through the motions and nothing would come of it. Only two months ago the Observer told us that the investigation was over and the CPS had found nothing. A fortnight ago Nigel Griffiths, deputy-leader of the House of Commons said he understood that the CPS had found no evidence and it was all over. It ain’t over yet.

Labour sources have gone from believing “it will all blow over” to an unspoken group-think that they would spin their way out of it, to now hoping they can quash the CPS. There is a realisation that this is now the last chance to stop charges.

You can’t spin a detective easily, every criminal claims he is innocent, but coppers, unlike some of our finest political journalists, work on the assumption that their interviewee is a lying wrong ‘un.

The CPS is Downing Street’s last hope. Nigel Griffith’s bit of wishful thinking spoken aloud on air was the premature hope of the guilty party. To the frustration of the attorney general, the police have not given the CPS much of substance yet because they don’t trust the political independence of the CPS. They will give the CPS the full goods only when the investigation is complete and they are sure that they “will be taking the case to the Old Bailey“. Be assured that is the intention of the police.

Don’t pay any attention to the spin from New Labour – they are shitting themselves. “The Fix” is falling apart. Inside the CPS they are not happy at it being taken for granted that they will be a patsy for Downing Street.

Look at the arse-covering manoeuvres going on in certain quarters – a sure sign that those in the know, know “The Fix” is not in. Sir Ian Blair, our most politicised policeman has taken himself out of the decision making – citing his relationship with the PM. Ken MacDonald, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has done the same. The CPS has turned outside its own ranks to David Perry QC to advise. That leaves only the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, batting for Blair. It is up to the political classes to see to it that he is prevented from quashing charges or just plain interfering. This discredited lawyer (his flip-flop advice over the legal basis for Iraq was made at Blair’s bidding) should not be permitted to block the course of justice. Shadow Home Secretary David Davis and the Shadow Attorney General Dominic Grieve have Goldsmith in their sights.

Downing Street is not going to be allowed to whitewash this…

Operation Ribble Update

Guido understands that soon Detective Superintendent Graham McNulty is likely to be saying the words:

“Anthony Charles Lynton Blair you do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”


UPDATE : A number of mongs seem to misunderstand. He is going to be interviewed under caution. Calm down.

Levy’s Consolation Prize

The was a touching scene the night before last in Albert Square, Manchester. Lord Levy was consoling a very worried man. Sleazy Levy had one hand on the man’s shoulder and the other gripping his elbow as a taxi waited. They must have had the meter on the taxi running for ages since they were having a very animated discussion about something. Levy was quite chipper whereas his friend was disgruntled and worried. “Don’t worry; it’ll all be all right; don’t worry” Levy assured the troubled man.

So far nothing that you have not read already on Iain Dale’s blog earlier. Guido believes that the weepy man was none other than Nick Bowes, formerly the Labour Party’s Head of High Value Fundraising. Nick is a reader of this blog from his desk at the metal bashers and widget makers trade association the EEF, he is up in Manchester on their behalf.

Guido has emailed Nick to corroborate this piece but has as yet no reply to his questions. Let us hope the detectives got more answers out of him…

See also here and here.

UPDATED : Yard Investigation Will Last Until Christmas

According to an impeccable source the Scotland Yard investigation into Labour’s Loans for Lordships will not finish next month as Yates intimated to the Public Affairs Select Committee in July. It is set to drag on until the end of the year. The source emphasised that whether Blair is still in office or not is irrelevant, this is a criminal investigation.

The delay will not make the issue vanish for the Labour party, since on the eve of their conference Channel 4’s Dispatches will be broadcasting a documentary special on Levy’s shenanigans.

Those of you playing Sleazy Sweepstakes in Downing Street can sweat a bit longer. The rest of you playing should try to figure out who the chap is in the middle to the right of the already arrested Sleazy Levy and Des Smith. If you have drawn him you could be lucky next….
Email Guido for a PDF file to print out, then cut out and play Sleazy Sweepstakes in your office (Peerages not included.)

UPDATE : Guido stands by his story, despite the leaked Mark Townsend and Antony Barnett story in the Observer this morning. Guido’s source is adamant that the investigation will not be over by mid-October. This “leak” in itself has an air of wishful thinking about it bordering on spin. Reading between the lines of their story it looks like somebody either in the CPS or the Attorney-General’s office is their “leak” source. If it is either legal source somebody is improperly spinning the investigation for political purposes – the law is supposed to be above politics. When we are governed by sleazy law-breaking law-makers it is essential that the criminal justice system is not politicised.

UPDATE II : Oh look, Mark Townsend has also written a puff piece for the Attorney-General today, what a coincidence. No point really asking the Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, to initiate a root and branch leak investigation is there?

Sources “close to” Lord Goldsmith wouldn’t be trying to pre-empt the investigating officers’ final report?

Get Your Sleazy Sweepstake Gamecards Ready

Guido hears that “friends” of Ruth Turner are claiming “it wasn’t me guv”. Wouldn’t it be fun if the PM has to do the perp walk. Downing Street is determined that the police should just drop by for a cup of tea and biscuit accompanied by the full Blair charm. The police think a statement under caution more appropiate in the circumstances. Don’t forget who did the negotiating directly with Lord Drayson…
If you have not already got one, email Guido for a PDF file to print out, then cut out and play Sleazy Sweepstakes in your office (Peerages not included.)

Des Smith Hits the Bottle

Des Smith hit the bottle hard last week under the pressure of the police inquiry into the cash for honours scam. He broke down in tears yesterday in court as he was sentenced for drink driving at Redbridge magistrates. The police evidence to the court was that he was three times over the maximum limit. Guido has a lot of empathy for a fellow hard-drinking Catholic. Will the school governors feel the same?
It can hardly be good for school discipline that the kids know the headmaster has been arrested in a corruption investigation and that he now has a criminal record as well. His involvement in fund raising for Sleazy Levy, who has also been arrested and is himself the primary target of the investigation, offers a way out. Clearly the Sleaze Master General is the one the police really want to nail.

Currently Des Smith is in denial and protesting his innocence. Guido’s advice, in the best of Catholic traditions, is that Des should make a full confession to Yates’ Operation Ribble.

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Quote of the Week

“Michael Abraham Levy, I am arresting you under the terms of the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925 and the Political Parties, Election and Referendum Act 2000.”

Detective Superintendent Graham McNulty

Putin takes the Michael out of Blair

Yesterday Putin relished taking the mick out of Blair (the mick of course being Lord Michael Levy). Asked what his message would be to Blair in view of implicit criticism by the British ambassador to Moscow of Putin’s governance, the authoritarian Russian leader started sly: “We carefully hear out all our partners,” he said. “We take into consideration their views on such issues but we take our decisions ourselves.” Putin then twisted the knife with a smile. “There are also other questions… Questions, let’s say, about the fight against corruption. We’d be interested in hearing your experience, including how it applies to Lord Levy.”

Psy-Ops in the War on Sleaze

The Scotsman reports that there is panic in Downing Street as Levy puts Blair squarely in the frame. Guido has been merrily emailing the cut out ‘n play Sleazy Sweepstakes gamesheet to SpAds and civil servants in a tactic borrowed from U.S. Army’s Central Command in the run up to the liberation of Iraq.

Psy-Ops units waged online warfare by sending emails and text messages to Iraqi senior officers telling them to surrender in advance of the U.S. Army’s Rolling Thunder operation. The effect of these messages on morale was telling, it showed the Republican guard that the enemy knew them individually, knew where to get them and how. The Republican Guard consequently put up no defence when the U.S. Army arrived. In advance of Yates of the Yard’s detectives’ Operation Ribble, Guido has borrowed some of those psy-ops tactics, after all, as concerned citizens we must each do our little bit in the War on Sleaze.

Email Guido for a gamesheet to print out, then email it onwards as appropriate or just cut out and play Sleazy Sweepstakes in your office. (Peerages not included.)

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Guido’s Levy Files

Unlike the Sleaze-Master General, Guido’s files have not gone up in smoke. Here for the assistance of some surprised journalists, is the story so far as told on this blog.

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Jane Hogarth Departs the Labour Party

Guido wrote back in March that Jane Hogarth was being set-up to take blame for some of Levy’s Loans for Lordships shenanigans. Much safer if she takes the flack because she worked for the Labour party not Downing Street. At all costs the blame must be kept well away from Tony, although as we all know in reality it was his fund-raising operation run out of Downing Street.

Is it really so surprising that she has taken “voluntary” redundancy now?

Guido understands that the Labour party is due to repay some £3 million over the next 3 months. Will these supposedly commercial loans be rolled over or written off? We were assured when the story first broke that they were to be repaid on a commercial basis. Whatever happens we will find out now that the Electoral Commission has belatedly got tough on loans. Lord Sainsbury may yet again be called upon to prop up the party which he has supported to the tune of £15 million, not counting the money he gives to New Labour supporting groups.

It is going to be a long, hot sweaty summer for a lot of Labour party apparachtiks. Yates of the Yard is conducting interviews with witnesses and suspects. Guido has received mixed messages about the timing of any action, some say it will be before the party conference, some say after. It willl overshadow September’s conference deliberations. C’mon coppers, give us the perp walk…

N.B. The above image of a handcuffed Levy doing the “perp walk” is, Guido has been advised by media lawyers and concerned journalists, potentially defamatory. Guido thinks not. Sleazy Levy would have to be innocent with a good reputation to damage.

UPDATE : Yates of The Yard’s Notebook

  • Des Smith
  • Nick Bowes
  • Sir Cyril Taylor
  • Lord Adonis (Andrew)
  • Amanda Delew
  • Jeff Shear
  • Ruth Turner
  • John McTernen
  • Peter Watt
  • Ian McCartney
  • Matt Carter
  • Lord Levy (Michael)
  • Jonathan Powell
  • Tony Blair
  • Peter Hain


Who do you believe? Peter Hain or Peter Laws’ widow? Exactly.

Yates of the Yard Quiz Starting Soon

The Political Quiz Show to end careers begins soon. Nervous millionaires are consulting their solicitors and getting their stories straight. Theatre producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh is widely quoted as saying he was offered a peerage in return for a loan – he wisely turned down the opportunity. Yates is likely to add him to the list in his notebook.

Guido understands that interviews, under caution, will begin next week, tactfully after Thursday’s local elections. Rumour has it that one donor in particular may cough, if the right assurances are given.

Guido is lovin’ it.


Elite Titles

Lord Levy’s Tragic Fire Loss

Peter Oborne in the Spectator tells us of a tragedy that has befallen the Sleaze Master General:

…it emerges that the Marylebone offices of the New Labour treasurer, Lord Levy, have been devastated by a mysterious fire. This took place last November, well before the police investigation began and around the time the House of Lords Appointments Commission raised the first queries concerning Tony Blair’s list. When I rang Downing Street for a reassurance that no papers relevant to the police investigation had been destroyed, I was informed that ‘that is a matter for Lord Levy’.

What a tragic loss that must be for Lord Levy, no doubt losing important documents will complicate things for those trying to piece together his dealings. Guido thinks that the fire stinks, and that the smell isn’t smoke.


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Loans for Lordships : Property Developer Boss Quits

First Capita’s boss Rod Aldridge quits, now another friend of Lord Levy has jumped. It is getting pretty nerve wracking for friends of the Sleaze Master General. Police are investigating the £1m loan to the Labour party made weeks before John Prescott approved plannning permission for his firms £500m property development. Andrew Rosenfeld is to be interviewed by the Yard’s sleaze busting team of detectives about the circumstances of his generosity and fortuitous planning approval.

Pure coincidence says Prescott. No comment says Blair.

Yates of the Yard’s Notebook

  • Des Smith
  • Nick Bowes
  • Sir Cyril Taylor
  • Lord Adonis (Andrew)
  • Amanda Delew
  • Jeff Shear
  • Ruth Turner
  • John McTernen
  • Peter Watt
  • Ian McCartney
  • Matt Carter
  • Lord Levy (Michael)
  • Jonathan Powell
  • Tony Blair

Will Blair’s Sleaze-Master General Be Next?

The Sleaze Master General himself will be worried that his former minion, Des Smith, is helping police with their inquiries.

Des Smith, a secondary headteacher who was also a council member of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) which was the camouflage operation under which peerages were doled out to the Labour party’s secret lenders.

The president of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust is, of course, Lord Levy.

That perp walk is getting nearer…

+++ FLASH +++ Arrested Man Not Lord Levy

Lord Levy’s Listening

Bet you a peerage Lord Levy is tuned to Radio 4 on Saturday at 4.30pm.

Elite Titles

+ READ MORE +



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