All 8 entries tagged Cash For Honours

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March 06, 2007

Who's leaking in the Cash for Honours debacle?

So the cards are on the table. Ruth Turner, the Head of Government Relations at 10 Downing Street sent an e-mail to her boss, Jonathan Powell, saying Lord Levy was telling porkies to the police.

But here’s the interesting bit…

The BBC has not seen the document containing her concerns but has been told about it by more than one source.

For the Beeb to fight so hard for a story – about a document they haven’t seen – their sources must be damned good. And I reckon they must have got their information from at least one of these two people: Ruth Turner and Jonathan Powell.

It sounds like there’s a lot of nervousness in Downing Street. And they seem to have chosen Lord Levy as the scapegoat. Levy himself has been fighting back – “friends” of Levy have told newspapers how the story is nonsense. Except Levy has no friends. It’s an open secret he’s the “friend” making the calls.

So if you see someone from the government complaining about leaks, ignore them. They’re the ones making holes in the bucket.

P.S. It seems I broke part of the story on this one – you would have read it here first the e-mail was to do with Ruth Turner. It might – technically – have been pushing the boundaries of the injunction issued on Friday, but my guesswork was right.


March 02, 2007

Breaking: Injunction slapped on BBC over Cash–For–Honours story

Breaking NewsFrom BBC News Online:

The Attorney General has obtained an injunction against the BBC to stop it broadcasting an item about the cash for honours investigation. The injunction was obtained on Friday night at a hearing which lasted around two hours at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. The Attorney General was successful in obtaining an injunction against the BBC. The BBC said its reporting of the story is a matter of public interest. (Link)

It hardly needs to be said the Attorney General is not exactly an unbiased observer to proceedings in the Cash for Honours investigation.

Interestingly, the BBC accompany this story with a picture of Ruth Turner, the head of Government Relations who has been arrested in relation to the Cash for Honours saga.

It sounds like something big could be brewing.

Edit (22:20): I’m convinced the story’s to do with Ruth Turner. The photo’s disappeared.

Edit (22:38): Benedict White suggests the banned report was about a leaked e-mail concerning Lord Levy.

Edit (06/03/07): So it was about Ruth Turner then. You read it here first.


March 01, 2007

Tick tock… Tick tock…

Tony Blair - Time to go?I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The longer Tony Blair stays in power, the worse things will get for the Labour Party.

But it’s becoming more and more important that he goes sooner rather than later. Poll results predicting a Conservative lead of 11-13% perpetrate the view that a Conservative government in 2009 is almost inevitable.

That’s a perception that Gordon Brown needs to change. Back in 1995/6, it was obvious the Conservatives were on their last legs. There was little they could do to change the perceived wisdom that the Tories were sleazy, old and without fresh ideas.

Well skip forward to 2007, and it’s becoming hard to disassociate Labour from the same problems. The Cash for Honours inquiry is an unfortunate mirror of the Cash for Questions row – albeit with the threat of jail sentences for added flavour – and there’s only so many tweaks the government can make to the NHS and the education system before running out of ideas.

We’re about halfway through a Labour government. The bristles on a new broom are being weakened every day Mr Blair stays in charge.


December 15, 2006

Dig For Victory?

Burying Bad News

The BBC’s Nick Robinson has called it spot on. Yesterday wasn’t a matter of burying bad news. It was:

fly tipping so much that one scarcely knows what to begin with

Let’s consider, as Loyd Grossman would say, the evidence.

  • The 832-page Stevens Report into Princess Diana’s death.
  • Ongoing investigations in Ipswich murder hunt.
  • The closure of 2,500 post offices.
  • The end of the Serious Fraud Squad’s inquiry into BAe and Saudi Arabia
  • Proposals to build four new runways at British airports
  • Discussions about giving prisoners the right to vote
  • Plans to limit the Freedom of Information Act
  • Prime Minister goes to Europe for key summit
  • Oh, and he’s questioned by police for selling honours.

All in all, a busy day’s work.


December 14, 2006

NEWSFLASH: Tony Blair Questioned by Cash–For–Honours Police

He was not interviewed under caution, but as a witness. Just as I said all along. (Cough)

You have to assume it’s been timed to knock the Post Office closures story down the agenda. Which it has already.


December 07, 2006

Mr Blair's gentle spanking

The BBC’s Nick Assinder reports that left-wing members of the Labour Party are salivating over the prospect of Tony Blair being spoken to about the cash-for-honours scandal, under caution.

They say that if this happened to a Labour councillor, they’d be suspended while an investigation takes place. So what chance of this happening to Mr Blair himself?

None.

He’s unlikely to be questioned under caution. The Met have already said they’re not treating him as a suspect. Guido Fawkes and the Campaign Group of socialist Labour MPs are both facing disappointment, I suspect.


November 06, 2006

Political Pass–the–Parcel

Sir Ian Blair is the latest to step back from the Cash for Honours inquiry into whether the Labour Party gave people Lordships in return for donations and loans.

He follows the Director of Public Prosecutions and hopefully the Attorney General, who is fudging how big a role he will play.

But as more and more people drop out of the game, the question is who is going to conduct this inquiry? Just about anyone appointed by the government has a potential conflict of interest, leaving only police officers below the level of Chief Constable and some low-ranking civil servants.

You have to wonder if the government – and inadvertantly, a critical media – is playing up people’s conflicts of interest in order to reduce the size of the inquiry to one man and his dog?


October 10, 2006

Capn' Blair going to walk the plank?

Writing about web page http://5thnovember.blogspot.com/

Guido Fawkes, a well-known source for political gossip, reckons Tony Blair is about to be read his rights and arrested over the cash-for-honours scandal. Blair’s complicity in the events which led to money being given to the Labour Party in return for Peerages is widely assumed to be large enough to cause him trouble.

But arrested? I’d be surprised. If Blair’s arrested then he’s finished at No. 10. Much more likely that’s he’ll be interviewed as a witness unless they’ve turned up some spectacularly conclusive evidence.

(Can you imagine bailing him so he can’t leave the country and go to any foreign summits etc… could be a little embarrasing).


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