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?