Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Top 50 (or so) Labour Sleaze Scandals

Was there ever a more hubristic statement than this? "My government will be whiter than white" - Tony Blair in 1997. It provokes a hollow laugh now. Can there ever have been a sleazier government in British political history? The record of this government makes any misdemeanours which occurred during the Major years look rank amateur in comparison. No wonder people think all all politicians are either having it away or on the make. Just in case you're in any doubt about the amount of sleaze there's been since 1997, here's a quick reminder. I've identified 56 (yes, 56!) different Labour sleaze scandals since 1997. I'm sure I've missed out a few though, so do post a comment and I'll add anymore to the list. Any journalists should feel free to reprint the list in their newspaper tomorrow... (hat-tip for graphic to quarsan)

UPDATE: We're up to 70 now...
UPDATE 1pm Monday: Pushing 90 now...

April 2006 Cameron MacIntosh says he was offered Peerage for loan
April 2006 Peter Law’s 'peerage'
April 2006 Charles Clarke & the failed deportations
April 2006 John Prescott's Affair(s)
April 2006 Cherie Blair’s hairdressing bill
April 2006 - Jack McConnell under pressure over breaking the ministerial code of conduct by giving public backing to a luxury golf resort planned by Donald Trump which could prejudice the planning process for the development
April 2006 - Revealed that Jack McConnell met with furniture tycoon Robert Morris over compensation to relocate his factory on the route of the M74 extension. The £35million was more than double the original compensation offer
March 2006 - Defeated Labour MP Calum MacDonald gets publicly paid job as Forestry Commissioner
March 2006 Tessa Jowell & husband
March 2006 Peerages for Cash
March 2006 Prescott pays no Council tax
March 2006 Margaret Beckett’s Royal Flights
February 2006 Ken Livingstone loses Standards Board appeal over anti-Jewish remarks
October 2005 Blunkett resigns over links to DNA firm
October 2005 Cherie Gets £100,000 for “charity” speaking tour
October 2005 Stephen Byers apologies for lieing over Railtrack
September 2005 Michael Watson MSP jaimed for arson
August 2005 - Revealed that disgraced former Scottish Executive special adviser, Phil Chalmers, is heading up a bid by French IT firm Atos Origin to secure some of the ID card contracts
July 2005 - Defeated Labour MP David Stewart gets job with the publicly funded SCVO only two months after losing his seat
June 2005 Cherie Opens Shopping centre for Malaysian millionaire
June 2005 Labour MSP Ken MacIntosh resigns over non declaration of financial interests
June 2005 Cherie Blair cashes in on Tony’s Washington trip
May 2005 Birmingham Labour Party accused over post voting irregularities
April 2005 - Brian Wilson MP's final section on Register of Members' Interests shows directorships and advisory roles to renewable energy firms. As Energy Minister he promoted renewable energy
April 2005 - Revealed that Jack McConnell met with Labour donor Willie Haughey to discuss compensation on a land deal where the M74 would pass through Haughey's property. Initial compensation of £7.4 million rose to £16.5 million
March 2005 Labour charges £200 for candidate contact details
February 2005 Cherie Blair embarks on lucrative Australian speaking tour
January 2005 Candy Atherton’s researcher digs for gay Tory dirt
January 2005 - Jack McConnell fails to register a holiday at the Spanish villa of BBC broadcaster Kirsty Wark
January 2005 - Sarah Davidson, once an adviser to former Scottish secretary Helen Liddell, lands a £75,000-a-year job enforcing McConnell’s smoking ban. The new job was never advertised. She was the civil servant who presided over a £200m rise in the cost of Holyrood before taking a six-month sabbatical to travel round the world
December 2004 Oona King offered £10000 to bed Labour Euro MP
October 2004 - Revealed that 70% of Scottish quango appointees have links to the Labour party
August 2004 August 2004 - Former Edinburgh Labour Provost Eric Milligan appointed Scotland’s “welcome czar” to the tourism industry. Although not paid a salary he receives expenses to travel the world
June 2004 - Willie Haughey, who has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Labour party, appointed to the post of chairman of Scottish Enterprise Glasgow.
May 2004 Lord Drayson’s company wins non competitive tender contract after £50,000 donation to Labour
May 2004 - Failed Labour candidate Hugh Raven, a former parliamentary assistant to Peter Peacock, the education minister, awarded a £23,415 contract as a board member of Scottish Natural Heritage
April 2004 Beverley Hughes resigns over Immigration scandal
February 2004 Labour criticised by Electoral Commission for late tendering of accounts
January 2004 - Revealed that Schlumberger hired disgraced special adviser Philip Chalmers to run the Scottish Tourist Board’s Visit Scotland website. The website is part of a Scottish Executive PFI contract
November 2003 Margaret Hodge forced to resign over libelling Demetrious Panton
September 2003 - Harry McGuigan, a leading Lanarkshire Labour councillor appointed as a member of the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration board
August 2003 David Kelly commits suicide
August 2003 Chris Bryant pictured in briefs on Gaydar website
August 2003 - Defeated Labour MSP Iain Gray appointed as Alistair Darling's special adviser at a salary of £60,000
August 2003 - Failed Labour candidate Pat Kelly appointed to board of Scottish Water.
March 2003 Clive Betts MP employed rent boy in House of Commons office
December 2002 Cherie Blair apologises over links to conman Peter Foster
October 2002 - Lanarkshire Labour party hold a Red Rose Dinner attended by a notorious drug baron called Justin McAlroy
October 2002 - Forty-four constituency Labour parties in Scotland revealed to have failed to register agreements to accept regular donations from trades unions. Failure to do so is a criminal offence
September 2002 Labour MP Alan Meale in trouble over deportation case linked to donation
July 2002 Carphone Warehouse chairman claims Lord Levy tried to nobble a £1 million donation
June 2002 Ken Livingstone accused of manhandling his partner while drunk at a party
June 2002 Black Rod accuses Downing Street of trying to muscle in on Queen Mother's funeral
June 2002 Labour spin doctors accuse Paddington crash victim Pam Warren of being a Tory stooge
May 2002 Stephen Byers resigns from government after various scandals
May 2002 Tessa Jowell criticises Labour for accepting donation from Richard Desmond
March 2002 Lakshmi Mittal
March 2002 Donnygate Doncaster Labour scandal ends in prison for Labour councillors
February 2002 Arthur Andersen & donations to Labour
February 2002 Martin Sixsmith forced to resign by Stephen Byers
February 2002 Jo Moore resigns over ‘burying bad news’ email
January 2002 - Norman Murray, Labour councillor and former convenor of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, appointed board member of the Scottish Ambulance Service at £7,305 a year
January 2002 Labour spin doctors trash reputation of Rose Addis
January 2002 Enron accused of buying access to Labour after donation
December 2001 Keith Vaz criticised by Standards Commissioner over business links
December 2001 Nigel Griffiths and £40,000 office expenses
November 2001 Henry McLeish resigns as Scottish First Minister after office expense scandal
November 2001 November 2001 - Jack McConnell admits to affair with Labour party secretary who he tried to keep in situ by appealing to Labour MPs for funds. He says he has had no other affairs
July 2001 Hindujahs receive passports after Labour donation
May 2001 May 2001 - Robin Young, a former non-executive director of Bovis (construction managers of the Scottish Parliament) appointed as permanent secretary at the Department of Trade and Industry
April 2001 - Failed Labour candidate Keith Geddes appointed to board of Scottish Natural Heritage
January 2001 Buyer of Millennium Dome Robert Bourne accused over donation to Labour
January 2001 Peter Mandelson resigns for the second time
November 2000 Cherie Blair & Nannygate
July 2000 David Blunkett fails to declare income from rent on his Wimbledon home
June 2000 Geoffrey Robinson in trouble with Belgian tax authorities
June 2000 Lord Ali in trouble for using House of Lords as business address
April 2000 John Prescott fails to disclose benefit of Union owned flat
January 2000 Geoffrey Robinson faces fraud inquiry over Transtec
January 2000 Gordon Brown faces Inquiry over flat purchased from Maxwell ruins
January 2000 January 2000 - Police arrest Philip Chalmers, who earned £50,000-a-year as head of the Scottish Executive’s strategic communications unit, for being drunk at the wheel of his car in a red light district with a prostitute
October 1999 Ron Davies goes badger watching
October 1999 October 1999 - Failed Labour candidate Joan Aitken appointed as the Prisons Complaints Commissioner
September 1999 Scottish Labour Party lobbying scandal
July 1999 Ken Collins, former Labour MEP, appointed chairman of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency with a salary of £45,000
December 1998 Geoffrey Robinson resigns over loaning money to Mandelson
December 1998 Peter Mandelson resigns over Geoffrey Robinson loan
November 1998 Nick Brown admits paying for gay sex
October 1998 Ron Davies’s Moment of Madness on Clapham Common
July 1998 Downing Street adviser Roger Liddle investigatedover lobbying links
March 1998 Lord Irvine’s £650,000 of wallpaper
March 1998 Scottish Parliament building tendering process & construction
July 1999 Derek Draper & Lobbygate
August 1998 Robin Cook’s affair with Gaynor Regan exposed
November 1997 Bernie Eccleston’s £1 million donation investigated
May 1997 Mohammed Sarwar accused of bribery
Each year Blair's freebie holidays

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was there ever a more hubristic statement than this? "My government will be whiter than white" - Tony Blair in 1997.


When and where did he say this then? Thing is, he didn't. It's a press invention to say that he did.

Anonymous said...

56 and counting - thanks for the damning list Iain.

It's about time we were reminded which is the real sleaze party in this country.

"Whiter than white" - what a joke!

Bob Piper said...

No. 2 - Charles Clarke & the failed deportations.

So... if incompetence is now defined as sleaze, it looks as iod we will have to redefine the Thatcher/Major years.

Anyone for the poll tax as the sleaziest piece of politics of the 20th Century then?

By the way... how many Labour MP's have been detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure since 1997?

Iain... way to go. Live with it. Relax. These poor sods are only apprentices in the Court of Tory sleaze.

PSW said...

What about Margaret Beckett and inability to sort the ever-delayed farming subsidies in England (unlike Scotland & Wales)- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4926732.stm

Second thoughts this is pretty much "par" for this government and rural England.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with Bob. This lot are terrible, but they're still miles better than the Tories.

And the country thinks so to!

The Morningstar said...

How about sending troops to iraq without the proper equipment like body armour? Or sexing up intelligence to make the case for war? There is always condoning other countries using torture and using intelligence gained from it. How about allowing extraordinary rendition flights to use UK airfields and airports?

John Reids Dealer said...

No mention of an illegal war and tens of thousand of dead Iraqis and hundreds of thousands of wounded?
oops the Tories are just as culpable

quarsan said...

Iain, we would appreciate a tiny credit for the crisis graphic of ours you're using.

But thanks for not grabbing it of our server

The Remittance Man said...

I don't think Charlie and Margaret count as "sleaze"; to my mind their misdemeanours fall into the incompetent category. That's for a new list - NuLabour's 50 Collosal Clusterfucks.

RM

Anonymous said...

Just what planet are some of these posters living on! Labour sleaze is far more severe than Tory sleaze ever was (and the voters are starting to realise). The great great majority of Tory sleaze was sexual (the mildest of the lot)....and about 6 financial (over 18 years,from a pool of about 16 000 different public representatives that were elected on Tory tickets in that time)

Keep trying though!

Iain Dale said...

Quarsan, apologies, I normally do credit these graphics but I think I came across it last night, saved it and then couldn't remember where it came from! It is now credited.

Andrea said...

"January 2005 Candy Atherton’s researcher digs for gay Tory dir"

She was cleared

Anonymous said...

Your piece has avoided local government it seems. In Birmingham, it would not surprise me if Labour had over 50 cases of sleaze in the short time they ran the place while their Party was in national government. Thank heavens the voters there comprehensively threw them out, despite the obvious advantages of (literally) having a postal vote factory during the last locals.

Anonymous said...

The community charge, sleazy?

Everyone contributed some cash to how their council was run... making the councils more accountable to the electorate - how is that sleazy?

Labour councils getting disproportionate chunk of government money - that's sleazy.

Tories clearly aren't saints - but they haven't claimed [recently] they are. Whereas, Bliar and Prescott have claimed their own messianic credentials.

Jayne said...

Re: the peerages for cash, it is reported in the papers today that Cameron McIntosh was allegedly offered a peerage for a donation to the New Labour party - he declined.

Anonymous said...

2003 Ron Davies the badger-spotter.

2003 Chris Bryant’s brief encounter.

Pulsar said...

Wonder if Piper new his next door neighbour Mr J Stonehouse?
Reggie Perrin will never quite die!

Bob Piper said...

Perhaps pulsar can recall Hamilton's cash for questions, Dame Shirley's biggest swindle in political history, (now, anonymous, that's proper local government corruption) false certificates to break arms embargos, the £200 million Pergau dam fiasco, and Archer, and Aitken... and these are just some of the greaseballs. The list of incompetent Tory decisions would take far too long.

Mark Holland said...

Drunk MSP Lord Mike Watson's Wilful Fireraising of a hotel's curtains.

Mandelson's Brazilian chum's dubious immigration status.

Blunkett staying on in his grace and favour appartment long after resigning and not paying tax as benefit in kind.

Tim Montgomerie said...

Great work, Iain!

kingbongo said...

Bob Piper sounds ever more desperate Iain so you must be doing something right!

It also seems an odd argument, you were worse than us so that's OK then. Especially as one piece of so called sleaze was the poll tax - wrongheaded, right in principle but unlikely to work yes but sleazy, that just makes no sense.

Ellee Seymour said...

What about fridge mountains, another Blair legacy after EU directives were deliberately ignored?

Well done psw for mentioning farm subsidies, which I have been blogging about. It is shameful that Beckett has escaped unscathed from this fiasco, the future of our farming industry is faced with terrible financial hardship and even ruination for some.

Biodun said...

Iain,
You've forgotten the Sex for Asylum Scandal
Your friend, Tony McNulty did sweet f.a. Now that's a scandal!

By the way, the Oona King one isn't really a scandal as she said it happened well before 1997 and it's just her word with no evidence (although I'll bet it DID happen)!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I think we should collate the full collection over the next few days, then get a vote for the top 50 scandals (over a hundred will easily be accumulated-example,I do not see the fast tracking of the nanny passport on the list, was not Mrs Blair involved in some smelly mortgage activity in Bristol, something I remember about the Prescott's son buying perfectly sound so-called 'derelict' houses from Hull Council for tuppence)and then hyperlink to all the details so that people can have their minds refreshed. It all can be found on the internet, with effort.

I will gladly do all this work Iain- it will be an excellent resource for our Party.Invite me to email you should you want me to do it.

Ross said...

What about-

-Blair's holidays paid for by various dubious people, at least Tory sleaze didn't involve Major or Thatcher.

-Labour's use of public information broadcasts as a form of political advertising in the run up to the 2001 and 2005 general elections.

-The replacement of impartial civil service spokemen with New Labour PR spivs could make the list.

I'm pretty sure you get up to a round 100.

Ross said...

Some more scandals I've remembered-

- The Rose Addis affair, big brave Labour party smear ninety something year old woman.

- Black Rod affair

- Labour's attempt to dig up some dirt on Paddington train crash victims who had criticised the govenments response.

- Kinnockios sacking of an EU whistle blower.

Forget 100, there must be a good chance of getting 1000 scandals.

quarsan said...

Thanks Iain, we take it as a compliment if anyone uses our graphics!

David Chappell said...

Did I miss it in the crowd or did you forget Blunkett's visas for nannies and the associated affair?

William Norton said...

Can there ever have been a sleazier government in British political history?

Sir Robert Walpole 1721-1742? He was re-elected, too.

Val M said...

Ruth Kelly and the paedophile teachers?

Val M said...

Ruth Kelly and the paedophile teachers?

Iain Dale said...

anaonymous above, please email me.

Anonymous said...

Extract from Blair's 1994 Conference Speech...it is quite funny now. Lifted from The Guardian 1994.

Mr Blair, who spoke with increasing force for 62 minutes, coupled ritual denunciation of Conservative sleaze and decay with a central claim that Labour was again the party of the majority, 'the people's party'.

Mr Blair took delegates through an eloquent rendition of his four key themes of opportunity, responsibility, fairness and trust. He led them towards his conclusion that the need for restored honesty in public life and for a new public philosophy must be matched by Labour. Four minutes from the end, he made the crucial pitch, telling the activists: 'The people of this country are not looking to us for a revolution. They want us to make a start.'

John Prescott ate my hamster said...

So we all agree?
they are all scum!
tory,labour or liberal

Gregor said...

The problem with all this (as jpamh above says) is that it's all too easy for Labour to say that the Tories were just as bad (although they weren't) therefore by association Labour have also managed to tarnish the Conservative's reputation also; as they have brought the whole of current politics into disrepute, mostly on the back of the dubious lead up to the Iraq war (which must count as more than one scandal surely?). The Lib Dems cant make any hay out of this either as the Kennedy resignation and leader election fiasco tars them also.

In all it's a complete mess.

Anonymous said...

Their dismissal of the Parliamentary Ombudsman's report which said that advice provided to pensioners by the government bodies was 'inaccurate, incomplete, unclear and inconsistent'.

Wat Tyler said...

Great stuff Iain- in both senses

I'd somehow got it into my head that most of the sleaze was mainly because they'd been there too long. I can now see it's been pretty evenly spread through the years.

But anon (?) is right- the underlying message is "they're all just as bad as each other".

Why do we let them run our lives again?

Anonymous said...

The list also ought to contain the West Lothian Question and the Barnett Formula, which has doubled under New Labour.
Prescott's handling and ignoring the NO vote for the Regional Assemblies is a bigger scandal than his affairs, yet does not feature.
Hang the fat blob out to dry!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget IRA singing John Reid
now in charge of the British Army.

Neil Craig said...

i agree with those who mention the faked case on Iraq.

Equally we have the war to help the genocidal KLA carried out on the claim that the Yugoslavs were engaged in genocide 2 months after Robin Cook had told Parliament that the majority of killings were of Serb civilians murdered by the aforementioned KLA.

Following that war we have the genocide of thousands & ethnic cleansing of 350,000 Serbs, Gypsies & Jews including the Dragodan massacre of 210 civilians carried out in the UK administered zone.

Ditto Sierra Leone where it turned out that our navy were fixing helicopters to help break mandatory UN sanctions (the sanctions were on both sides, the excuse being that the side we helped were "democratic").

While somewhat different from shagging, genocide & war crimes are criminal activities & thus should count.

Bel said...

Margaret Hodge's smearing of Demetrious Panton, a child abuse victim, as 'extremely disturbed'. She was forced to apologise and pay £10,000 damages.

Anonymous said...

A few more ones from north of the border where Jack McConnell is trying to paint himself as not part of this New Labour hypocrisy.

This list suggests otherwise and it is part of the same trend:

March 1998 - Scottish Parliament architect Enric Miralles short listed for Scottish Parliament contract despite being rejected by the project manager Bill Armstrong who eventually resigned over political interference in the project.

January 1999 - Bovis Lend Lease awarded contract to build Scottish Parliament despite initially eliminated from the tender process but mysteriously reinstated.

June 1999 - Scottish Parliamentary vote to hand control over Parliament building to MSPs passes by just three votes - extra costs on risk assessment were not disclosed by Labour Executive Ministers during debate.

July 1999 - Ken Collins, former Labour MEP, appointed chairman of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency with a salary of £45,000.

October 1999 - Failed Labour candidate Joan Aitken appointed as the Prisons Complaints Commissioner.

January 2000 - Police arrest Philip Chalmers, who earned £50,000-a-year as head of the Scottish Executive’s strategic communications unit, for being drunk at the wheel of his car in a red light district with a prostitute.

April 2001 - Failed Labour candidate Keith Geddes appointed to board of Scottish Natural Heritage.

May 2001 - Robin Young, a former non-executive director of Bovis (construction managers of the Scottish Parliament) appointed as permanent secretary at the Department of Trade and Industry.

November 2001 - Jack McConnell admits to affair with Labour party secretary who he tried to keep in situ by appealing to Labour MPs for funds. He says he has had no other affairs.

January 2002 - Norman Murray, Labour councillor and former convenor of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, appointed board member of the Scottish Ambulance Service at £7,305 a year.

March 2002 - Former Labour First Minister Henry McLeish complains about sectarianism in Labour party in some parts of Scotland.

July 2002 - Construction firm, the O'Rourke Group, earning £36m for a Scottish Parliament building contract. The O'Rourke is a donor to the Labour Party.

October 2002 - McConnell admits to sectarianism in Lanarkshire Labour but fails to publicly address whilst lambasting other organisations for not tackling it.

October 2002 - Lanarkshire Labour party hold a Red Rose Dinner attended by a notorious drug baron called Justin McAlroy.

October 2002 - Forty-four constituency Labour parties in Scotland revealed to have failed to register agreements to accept regular donations from trades unions. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

August 2003 - Defeated Labour MSP Iain Gray appointed as Alistair Darling's special adviser at a salary of £60,000.

August 2003 - Failed Labour candidate Pat Kelly appointed to board of Scottish Water.

September 2003 - Harry McGuigan, a leading Lanarkshire Labour councillor appointed as a member of the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration board.

January 2004 - Revealed that Schlumberger hired disgraced special adviser Philip Chalmers to run the Scottish Tourist Board’s Visit Scotland website. The website is part of a Scottish Executive PFI contract.

May 2004 - Failed Labour candidate Hugh Raven, a former parliamentary assistant to Peter Peacock, the education minister, awarded a £23,415 contract as a board member of Scottish Natural Heritage.

June 2004 - Willie Haughey, who has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Labour party, appointed to the post of chairman of Scottish Enterprise Glasgow.

August 2004 - Former Edinburgh Labour Provost Eric Milligan appointed Scotland’s “welcome czar” to the tourism industry. Although not paid a salary he receives expenses to travel the world.

October 2004 - Revealed that 70% of Scottish quango appointees have links to the Labour party.

January 2005 - Jack McConnell fails to register a holiday at the Spanish villa of BBC broadcaster Kirsty Wark.

January 2005 - Sarah Davidson, once an adviser to former Scottish secretary Helen Liddell, lands a £75,000-a-year job enforcing McConnell’s smoking ban. The new job was never advertised. She was the civil servant who presided over a £200m rise in the cost of Holyrood before taking a six-month sabbatical to travel round the world.

April 2005 - Brian Wilson MP's final section on Register of Members' Interests shows directorships and advisory roles to renewable energy firms. As Energy Minister he promoted renewable energy.

April 2005 - Revealed that Jack McConnell met with Labour donor Willie Haughey to discuss compensation on a land deal where the M74 would pass through Haughey's property. Initial compensation of £7.4 million rose to £16.5 million.

July 2005 - Defeated Labour MP David Stewart gets job with the publicly funded SCVO only two months after losing his seat.

August 2005 - Revealed that disgraced former Scottish Executive special adviser, Phil Chalmers, is heading up a bid by French IT firm Atos Origin to secure some of the ID card contracts.

September 2005 - John Reid's son marries daughter of a west of Scotland gangland figure.

September 2005 - Blair and Reid hold secret talks with Saudis on £40bn arms deal.

March 2006 - Defeated Labour MP Calum MacDonald gets publicly paid job as Forestry Commissioner.

April 2006 - Revealed that Jack McConnell met with furniture tycoon Robert Morris over compensation to relocate his factory on the route of the M74 extension. The £35million was more than double the original compensation offer.

April 2006 - Jack McConnell under pressure over breaking the ministerial code of conduct by giving public backing to a luxury golf resort planned by Donald Trump which could prejudice the planning process for the development.

Iain Dale said...

Would the person who posted all the Scottish stuff above, please email me privately iain AT iaindale DOT com

Anonymous said...

Prescott used his official car in the North East referendum, he was not supposed to be promoting a point of view. Christopher Booker
wrote plenty on the rigging of a referendum, that definitely needs looking into.

Anonymous said...

RE

"Anonymous said...
Totally agree with Bob. This lot are terrible, but they're still miles better than the Tories.

And the country thinks so to!"

What an unbelievable comment!, Please clarify exactly what 'country' thinks so because England sure as hell doesn't 'think so', England voted the Labour regime OUT at the last General Election.

Wait a minute....is that YOU John!?, nice try!.

quarsan said...

what about the labour ministers caught in operation ore?

Julian said...

You do mention Drayson and the £100,000 bribe but seem to have miscued on the amounts involved.

Before being given a peerage Paul Drayson donated £100,000 and then 'donated' another £500,000 within 6 weeks of being created a life peer. Very soon after that his company was awarded a £32,000,000 contract to supply smallpox vaccines to the NHS on a closed tender basis. Within weeks of that tender being announced the ombudsman, Ann Abraham, requested full details of the tender from the Department of Health, only to be told by the then Health Secretary John Reid that 'national security' prevented him from fulfulling her request.

Drayson's company Powderject was also at the centre of a scandal in 2003 where Fluvirin flu vaccines shipped to its parent Chiron were found to be mostly faulty and thus the vaccines were reputed to be mostly unusable.

Do bear in mind that this is the same John Reid who once was severely rebuked by parliamentary anti-sleaze commissioner Elizabeth Filkin for "threats of a particularly disturbing kind" over his attempt to block an investigation into how Reid 'wrongly' paid three Labour party aides out of parliamentary allowances.

Davide Simonetti said...

Hi Iain,
Here is one regarding Tessa Jowell granting hundreds of thousands of pounds to a film company owned by Silvio Berlusconi in her capacity as Minister for Culture, Media and Sport. I found this in an article in the Telegraph in March. I'm not sur if it counts as sleaze but I suspect it does.

Anonymous said...

Please don't miss out the Lord Watson fire-raising incident! It occurred in November 2004 in the Prestonfields Hotel, Edinburgh- the occasion was the Scottish Politician of the year awards. He denied it at first but was caught on camera. Appaprently he did it to try and distract the bar staff so that he could nick some booze as they had refused to serve him.

Rog said...

What about the various postal votes scams?

Anonymous said...

>Can there ever have been a sleazier government in British political history?

Oh what short memories we have - I seem to remember the sweeping Labour win of 1997 happened for a reason...ooh what was it now???

Davide Simonetti said...

Oh, and postal electoral fraud.

Anonymous said...

Margaret Hodge DIDN'T resign. Surely that's the scandal.

Oh, and you've missed the constructive dismissal of Elizabeth Filkin.

Is Rose Addis on there?

Alan G said...

When Tony Blair was slow handclapped by members of the Women's Institute in 2000(?), didn't Labour (via Alistair Campbell try to insinuate that those responsible were members of the National Front? Not exactly sleaze but it was a nasty attempt to smear people expressing their displeasure of Blair and his government.

The TaxCutter said...

How about:

Lord Drayson using an offshore tax avoidance scheme to avoid paying tax on the sale of shares of his company, you know the one that won that very large government tender. I think the saving was from £5m to £10m.

Gordon Brown introducing film tax reliefs, against HM Treasury advice to keep Labour's luvvie buddies very happy. These then get used for tax avoidance of circa £500m, a year, just as HM Treasury said, but GB does not shut them down, in fact he extends them just before the 2005 general election.

Tony Blair pissing away £14bn (and counting) of EU rebate and taxpayers money at a recent EU summit. There must be some sleaze attached to this ......there was no other reason to agree to it.

tim said...

Friday, October 28, 2005

Daily Mail: Grace and favour fury

By Tim Shipman
TONY BLAIR and his senior ministers pocketed nearly £130,000 of taxpayers' money in housing allowances last year despite being given the run of lavish grace-and-favour homes paid for by voters.

...
http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/news/individual_tin_news.php?news_id=14

Laban said...

How about "David Miliband, the schools minister, and his brother Ed, the chancellor’s economic adviser, are set to avoid paying thousands of pounds in tax through an Inland Revenue loophole which the Labour party pledged to close. "

http://ukcommentators.blogspot.com/2004/09/estate-in-capitalist-society.html

Davide Simonetti said...

Spying on UN ambassadors in the run up to the Iraq war.

Roger Bird said...

Apologies if you've already got this one, but wasn't one of the very first scandals the suspension of Bob Wareing (Livepool West Derby) in around June 1997 for non-declaration of interests? Not the biggest scandal admittedly, but it all counts towards the total...

Tom said...

Creating the Strategic Rail Authority, appointing a Blair crony to run it, scrapping it at vast cost when it became clear it was pointless and then giving the man a job running PFI schools. Nice work if you can get it, and you can get it if you're a mate of Tony's.

Anonymous said...

I and some friends have been collecting examples of Labour Sleaze and general incompetance for the last couple of years.

Our list runs into three figures over the last few years.

Some of them (you've found some of these) are below


-Deaths of Hercules crew (in Iraq) could have been avoided
-£1bn carbon emissions payout
-Prescott admits to affair
-Tax Credits
-Release of Foreign Prisoners
-World Bank report stated that Britain has lost more skilled workers than any country
-Pensions rescue team costs more than it pays out
-Number 10 Furniture Bill £30,000 per year
-Cancellation of Home Computer Initiative while the DTI was still pushing it
-Bowel cancer screening delay
-Job cuts in NHS
-DWP Computer System Failure left more than half of calls unanswered
-Unemployment Going Up - 37,000 to 1.53 million between November and January - The number of unemployed people has risen by 109,000 in the last 12 months, and now stands at 5% of the UK population.
-Official Guidance on Company Pension schemes "inaccurate, incomplete, unclear and inconsistent". According to a ruling of The Parliamentary Ombudsman, Ann Abraham
-The Country's personal debt is said to be increasing by £1m every four minutes.
-Gun Register Delay - Legislation was rushed through Parliament but it has not yet been made law because of a number of technical issues
-MG Rover
-Unqualified accountant steals 1m from ODPM office
-Long Term Nursing Care for Elderly - They pay despite a ruling that the NHS should do so.
The present government criticised the Conservatives in 1997 for forcing 40,000 pensioners a year to sell their homes. Prime Minister Tony Blair said he did not want children "brought up in a country where the only way pensioners can get long term care is by selling their home."
-One third of homes (and rising) affected by Inheritance Tax
-Pick a Doctor Computer System - More than 80 of Britain’s most eminent doctors condemned a medical recruitment system that is forcing them to employ substandard junior staff
-UK Cocaine Use - Europe's highest rate
-Germany is soon to have a lower tax burden than the UK
-Economic Growth below forecast of 1 year ago - Eurozone growth now faster than the UK. New Zealand, Canada, Australia and Ireland all have faster growth
-£346m uplift in property values under the Mapeley deal since the properties were sold less than 5 years ago.

Unity said...

Can I chuck in some more for consideration.

1. Failure to overturn the RAF's negligence verdict in the matter of Chinook ZD576 despite this being thoroughly rubbish by at least three separate independent inquiries including a House of Lords special committee.

2. To follow on from above, I'd look into the matter of the Mk 3 Chinook, which has still hasn't been certified as fit for operation use, desspite it costing the usual inflated sums of money.

3. Diego Garcia - government overturns High Court ruling using Privy Council order.

For both the above, use Tim Slessor's book 'Lying in State' as your primary source material/starting point.

I'd also check out Robin Cook's 'Point of Departure', which shows how Blair used an obviously placed question during PMQs to spike a free vote on House of Lords reform.

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