Wednesday, November 28, 2007

MacNeill Challenges LibDem Contenders to Return £2.4m Donation

Two developments from Scotland tonight. Beleagured Labour leader Wendy Alexander is under fire over a donation of less than £1,000 from someone in the Channel Islands. Can't get very excited by that.

However, good old Angus MacNeill has stirred it with the LibDems - what a mischievous chap he is. Here's a press release he has just sent out...

SNP MP, Angus MacNeil, has today written to Liberal Democrat leadership contenders, Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg, asking for clarification on whether, if successful in their party leadership bids, they will repay the £2.4million donation made to the Liberal Democrats by disgraced businessmen, Michael Brown, in 2005. Mr Brown was later jailed for perjury and a passport offence. As Mr Brown had not been resident in the UK, and not on the electoral register, at the time he made the donation, he used a bogus company name (5th Avenue Partners Ltd) as the official legal donor. Mr MacNeil said: "I understand Chris Huhne has made a complaint to the Metropolitan Police over Labour's illegal funding scandal. Clearly, it is important that political donors are not only fully identified and beyond reproach, but also actually entitled to make such donations in the first place. In this respect, I would politely challenge both the Liberal leadership hopefuls to commit themselves to repaying the £2.4million donation made by Michael Brown back in 2005. The question is, are Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg prepared to lead by example?"

Notes to editors: In his letters to Mr Clegg and Mr Huhne, Angus MacNeil said: I'm sure we can both agree it is important not only that political donors are both fully identified and beyond reproach, but also that they are entitled to be making such donations in the first place. In a similar vein, I'm sure you will not have forgotten the controversy surrounding donations received by your own party from Michael Brown via 5th Avenue Partners Ltd, at a time when neither Mr Brown nor 5th Avenue were permissible donors. To this end, if elected as leader of the Liberal Democrats, will you commit yourself unequivocally to repaying the donations made by 5th Avenue Partners Ltd?


Neat.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

excellent - but i cannot see the LibDenss give money they don't have to return. They are skint.

ABM fanclub said...

Sin thu fhèin a Aonghais! Cùm ort a bhalaich!

Anonymous said...

Iain

Wendy Alexander, Scottish labour leader is "checking" a donation of "less than £1000" which she obtained to help finance her Leadership election campaign. The donation came from "Paul Green who is based in the Channel Islands".

Actually Wendy received several donations of £995--magically below the £1000 threshold at which donors have to be named.

She is being comforted by her brother, Wee Dougie.

Paul Burgin said...

Iain with all this mud flying around, ust be careful to consider how the lie of the land is with the Tories' esp with regards to Ashcroft, because you can be sure that there are various people out there looking and digging to find something

Devil's Kitchen said...

What's all this rubbish about the money being "returned"?

As was made quite clear over the UKIP case, if the donations are declared impermissible, the money is confiscated and given -- oh! irony of ironies -- to The Treasury.

DK

Anonymous said...

"It was even more of a surprise to find that I was part of this issue. Consequently, my response in questions put to me yesterday may have given inaccurate information. That was not my intention."
From the Guardian , a statement by Mrs Dunn:
"In these circumstances, and in view of the apparent investigation by the Electoral Commission, I do not propose to comment further in public, save to confirm that following a review of my records, a cheque drawn on my account in the sum of £25,000 was given to the Labour party in January 2003."

Nice work Mrs Dunn .

Westmonster said...

Really?

Anonymous said...

Will the SNP return the donation reported in Tesco's accounts which they never reported to the Commission?

Will they explain why there were no reported donations in respect of the income from the "Big Hitters Club" reported in their management accounts?

Will the SNP explain Scottish Assembly money paid to Scottish MPs was paid directly into Party coffers on instruction from their leadership?

Will the SNP explain why they obtain more State funding as a % of their total income than any UK Political Party?

apocalypse new labour said...

Forget the LibDem sideshow, the real action is the disintegration within the higher echelons of New Labour.

Tonight's Newsnight reported that Blairites at the top of the party are flexing their muscles and briefing against Brown again, while one "Blairite Minister" said off the record that Brownite Dromey's position is untenable and he will be out soon.

I knew the comrades would be back to fighting each other like ferrets in a sack before long. The decent Tony Wright seemed totally defeated by it all.

Meanwhile the Telegraph is claiming that Abrahams may have been a proxy for someone else to pass money to the Labour Party.

Where will it all end?

Anonymous said...

Ashcroft, Ashcroft, Ashcroft snore snore snore.

Ashcroft is not new to all this, he helped the tories get through the 97 to 2001 period.

Unlike many of the useless people who give money to political parties, Ashcroft actually is someone who has ability.

If there was anything on Ashcroft, it would have already came out. He's only achillies heal, is his status here.

Now, back to the crooked Labour Party.

Alex said...

While we are on the subject of the Lib Dems, is there any chance that anyone will raise the issue of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, and how it has been taken over by the Lib Dems for their own purposes?

Considering that the company was established with the object of promoting social projects and was specifically not intended to finance existing political groups, it is a bit rich that it now gives half of its income to a political party that its founder did not even know about.

With £25 million of assets, that is far more substantial than Labour's £600k of grubby money.

pedant said...

what a mischievous chap me is.

Perfectly true, Iain old chap. I'm sure Angus would agree.

Letters From A Tory said...

I was similarly curious about how this story about Lib Dem donations managed to slip out of the public consciousness so quickly.

I hope the Conservatives don't get dragged into this with a scandal of their own - time to start checking those donations very carefully....

Anonymous said...

So that's the Times and an SNP MP. Goodness - the number of people who are after the Lib Dems for this...

If this was as big a scandal as you wish it was - it'd be in the press.

the fact is, most journos know that this is not enough of a story...

Bloggers dont really have to worry about facts etc.

Anonymous said...

Aye, but wee Angus makes a fair point.

Nae answers yet frae thea English public school boys.

Dae the Polis ken aboot this?

Doug a hole Alexander said...

"...a donation of less than £1,000 from someone in the Channel Islands. Can't get very excited by that."

Au contraire Iain.

Labour donation 'clearly illegal'

Scottish Labour leader admits receiving illegal payment

Illegal donations, cover ups, resignations.

It's the same culture in Labour north and south of the border.