Thursday, November 29, 2007

Newsnight Allegations Mean Harman Cannot Survive


Much as I would like to watch Alan Duncan make mincemeat of Caroline Flint tonight on Question Time, I shall be watching Newsnight. Why? Read on, dear reader, read on.

David Grossman has uncovered more about the reason Harriet Harman was so keen to accept money from David Abrahams Janet Kidd. She is in debt up to her very pretty eyebrows. Her campaign overspent to the extent that next week she is holding a fundraiser in Leicester Square, billed as "This is the last opportunity to raise funds towards the cost of our very successful campaign. Places are limited and tickets are available strictly on a first come first served basis.". Tickets are a mere £30. However, that's not the juicy bit.

It turns out that Harriet Harman has taken out undeclared loans to fund her campaign, which have not been declared to the Electoral Commission and the loans amount to a five figure sum. We already knew that she took out a £10k loan at the beginning of the campaign, which she was totally open about. Grossman is alleging that the further loans should have been declared to the Electoral Commission. He says on the Newsnight blog...


The Electoral Commission's entry for Harriet Harman only records one loan arrangement - an overdraft facility for £10,000 with Nat West taken out in October 2006.This lunchtime I filed a series of 11 questions to the Labour Party - I'm still waiting for a response Here are the questions:
1 How did Harriet Harman fund her campaign for the deputy leadership election?
2 How much did the campaign cost to run in total?
3 Is the loan for £10,000 pounds from the National Westminster Bank taken out on the 3rd October 2006 the only loan she has entered into to fund her campaign?
4 Why is she still raising money for a campaign that finished on 22nd June 2007?
5 Where will the money go that is raised at the event planned for 5th December 2007 at Sounds
Nightclub in Leicester Square?
6 If the money raised at this event goes towards settling campaign debts, where are the required records of those debts?
7 Did she borrow money in her own name for the purposes of the campaign without declaring it to the electoral commission as a loan?
8 Did she borrow money against any assets owned jointly with Jack Dromey for the purpose of
funding her campaign?
9 Why is Harriet Harman using her office in the House of Commons as a base from which to raise party political funds, in contravention of Parliamentary rules? (the initiation for her fund raiser on the 5th December invites people to send donations to Charlotte Montague at her office at the
House of Commons)
10 Is Charlotte Montague’s salary paid from Harriet Harman’s MP’s allowances?
11 If Charlotte Montague is paid from Harriet Harman’s MP’s allowances why is she working on Harriet Harman’s campaign from Harriet Harman’s office at the House of Commons? Why has she not registered this in the relevant register of interests for MP’s staff?



If these allegations turn out to be true I cannot believe Harriet Harman can survive. If you want a prediction, it is that she will be gone by Monday.
UPDATE: Just as a point of information, Harriet Harman's salary is, I believe, not unadjacent to £150,000. Her husband's salary is also into six figures, I believe. Could they not contribute to her campaign themselves?

32 comments:

Andrew James said...

Sensational! This has to be the end for Harman.

Anonymous said...

Surely given this has been on the BBC, you cannot believe it Iain (and the rest of you who bang on about what you term the Brown Broadcasting Corporation). Or do you only say the BBC reports are truthful when they agree with your own agenda.

Daily Referendum said...

Never mind, she could always get a job as a TV Chef - Her speciality - cooking the ....

javelin said...

Yep, she has to resign.

I always presumed she had more money than that. Most professionals I know could scrape 100K together, but I hadn't guessed she'd be skint.

Man in a Shed said...

Wow.

Jack said...

How dense can this woman be? You would think that what the whole loans things did to Labour she would have had her eyes wide open? And she's married to the party Treasurer. The irony is too delicious.

paranoidman said...

she really has to be toast after this.

the really sad thing, for the labour party, is that she was always going to be a waste of the post from the start. someone of the stature of hilary benn or alan johnson (ok, not the greatest of cabinet members ever but much better than the other munchkins) could have helped brown shoulder some of the leadership burden. Every single problem is going straight to brown because there is no one who has the capacity to shield him.

hey ho. chickens come home to roost eventually

jailhouselawyer said...

God, you are slow. I already predicted that Jon Mendelsohn and Harriet Harman to resign at 12.15 this morning.

javelin said...

So will her comment in the House today that "The Honourable Lady tends to huff and puff - but she will not blow this Leader of the House down," go down with Jonathan Aitken's "sword of truth".

I wonder if the BBC will now start calling Harman "The disgraced former MP Harriet Harman"?

Is this a criminal offence? - in which case she can't get a job as a lawyer. Better start practicing your hamburger flipping technique Harriet - mine's a Big Mac.

Charlie dog said...

As ye sow so shall ye reap, the holier than thou are reaping their just reward!

About time too, this one is too juicy a bone for the press to let go and the Labour party won't get the chance to bury it.

Woofers

canvas said...

You can always press record?

I just saw a clip of the woman who hates people having fun (Caorline Flint) on Newsnight. The BBC just showed a clip of her sticking up for Gordon.

Maybe she's hoping to grab harriet's job before Hazel Blears goes for it?

mitch said...

proves that MPs are rarely right and never honourable.
Perhaps the address in the house needs updating to say...hmmm "the disreputable freeloader"
at PMQs cameron should have stood there looked at brown and said "where to begin" or "six questions are not enough just for this week/day"

freedom to prosper said...

I blame illegal immigrants and alcopops. I don't know why I just cannot stand the woman. I know it's unkind but I cannot help it.Dennis Skinner is keeping very quite I wonder what he really thinks?

Antony said...

I cannot understand any way - except total and utter arrogance - in which Harman can keep her job.

canvas said...

Freedom to prosper: I believe Dennis Skinner was piping up today - something about what did George Osborne put up his nose?

Skinner was then reminded that he should consider retiring soon...

He's like a harmless teddy bear (with no name).

Voynod said...

I can't recall any government meltdown quite like this -- and I'm old enough (just) to remember the Profumo Affair.

I read a comment somewhere which spoke of "Brown's death spiral". Very apt. He'll be gone by spring. The LLP can only take so much.

And I think we're only at the beginning of the scandal. I wouldn't be surprised to see Blair and Iraq being dragged into it. After all, much of this went on when he and not Mr Bean was PM.

The bloggers are keeping us informed, unlike the BBC.

judith said...

How comes Harman couldn't fund her own campaign?

I'm well enough acquainted with some MPs to know that relatively few of them are stinking rich, but given she's been getting a fair old salary as an MP for 25 yrs, I would have thought she had some funds of her own set by for a rainy day - or a leadership campaign.

Charlotte Corday said...

I see the invitation to Harriet's Christmas celebrations promises "Live Comedy".

Supply your own punchline....

judith said...

Presumably the Live Comedy on offer will be clips of all the different excuses trotted out over the last week by members of the Labour Shambles, or Government as it used to be known?

verity said...

Freedom to Prosper - I can't stand her either (but then, I cannot stand any of them) but I know why. She's stupid. She's smug, although what she has to be smug about isn't immediately apparent. She's FAT, which means she's self-indulgent and self-justifying. "(Oh, I really shouldn't! Oh, all right then, I really didn't have more than a couple of sandwiches and a slice of pie for lunch.")

She's got a smug, empty face that reeks of self-approval and an "I'm right!" attitude.

I do hope she takes Gordon down with her. Wouldn't it be fun if Her Maj dissolved Parliament and said we were going to be run by a military junta for a few months.

Who'll be the next Labour leader, everyone? My guess, Alan Johnson. Maybe he was very smart to be so low profile.

Funny, I hadn't realised that someone on a ministerial salary and married to the Party Treasurer could be so short of a bob or two.

Anonymous said...

We have to ask the question, did we all underestimate John Prescott??
He seemed to have been a towering figure compared to this useless woman.

jonathan hemlock said...

Delighted to hear that John Yates will be available "in an advisory capacity" to the latest Met enquiry into Labour Party funding.

After his treatment in the Commons Select Committee, he would have no reason to feel hard done by.

Would he?

Verity: I'm sure you'll agree, it ain't over till the FAT lady swings

freedom to prosper said...

I like Skinner but I bet the cheeky xxxxxx doesn't retire to Bolsover. As you know I've always liked Prescott but the real tragedy here is that Roy Budd is dead. He wrote one of the best ever film themes for Get Carter which the Beeb now uses when discussing this latest Labour scandal. Who dressed Theresa May (not to be confused with Teresa May glamour model) for Newsnight? 70s leather jacket. Bring in the army and let Mike Jackson run the country.

Anonymous said...

Question Time is on at 11.05 on BBC Wales if you have SKY. I am just going to watch it now.
I thought it strange they were showing footage on Newsnight on a programme that hadn't gone out yet.

Clive B said...

£150K and no housing costs pleease!

Chris Paul said...

Don't know what Harriet blued her money on if she has overspent in the way DG suggests. No more bumpf from her than other candidates.

But it is perhaps unwise to get carried away on the back of a fishing expedition. Has he even sent it to the right place? It's tomorrow's story today, perhaps, if he hits the spot.

Not sure what happens in the event of a DL vacancy. But if they distributed HH's second preferences then Cruddas might yet beat Johnston.

oswald mosley said...

Hunky Dunky is holding his own on Question Time (no change there), but he is not making mincemeat of Ms Flint. She is a formidable lady.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Alan Duncan was let down on tonights Question Time by his poor articulation. And flint must have had about 3 times his amount of time.

David said...

Johnny Norfolk,

I didn't think Duncan was particularly brilliant either, but it must have been hard for him considering that Paul Myner was asked to answer more questions directly than he was. I always thought each party only got one spokesman on that programme...

Roger Thornhill said...

Harridan would not spend her own money to fund the campaign, surely. Spending your own money is what we do (when Gordon has finished grabbing as much as he can). HH has had the taxpayer fund her political life for so long I suspect she considers putting her hand in her own pocket something that is against her religion.

I do think HH will want to knife Gordon if she is to fall.

I predict we will begin to see Milburn in the wings soon, just to remind the Party they might have an alternative. Miliband must be furious, as his flag is nailed to Gordon's mast.

Johnny Norfolk said...

David

The labour party is in trouble. When that happens old friends come together. Enter the BBC. Last to show the latest news about this on its news site. 4 days before it appeared on 'Have Your Say'.
Extra Labour person on Newsnight. They should have had a critical journalist on instead. No wonder M&S had trouble with that leftie bloke on the board.The Conservatives need to get tough on this onw. Flint was allowed to say far to much unchallenged.

Anonymous said...

Iain, are you going to Harriet's Christmas Celebration? Apparently Abrahams has a ticket...