My Telegraph column today looks at Peter Hain's position and concludes that Gordon Brown has bottled it again. Not much original in that, you may feel, but read the whole article HERE. Here is the slightly newsworthy paragraph...
The Electoral Commission confirmed to me yesterday that it wrote to Mr Hain, at
the beginning of his campaign, outlining his obligations and his duties relating
to the declaration of donations. The letter explained to him that he was legally
responsible for his campaign, and it was his responsibility to ensure that all
donations were declared within 30 days of receipt. Forms were provided for him
or his team to do just that. All these forms had to be signed by him personally.
Indeed, we know he received the forms, because he did declare some donations on
So Peter Hain has no excuses for his "incompetence" (copyright G Brown 2008). He had been duly warned about his legal responsibilities but he chose to ignore them. Another example of Labour politicians thinking they are above the law.
I rang the Electoral Commission because I remember David Davis receiving such a letter at the beginning of the Tory leadership campaign. Surely the existence of such a letter weakens his position even further. The Commission wouldn't give me a copy of the letter, but someone might like to do an FOI on it. I suspect its contents would make his position untenable.