Friday, November 20, 2009

LibDems In the Clear Over £2.4 Million Donation

I may be in Tunbridge Wells today but I am sure I can hear the sound of champagne corks popping in Cowley Street, Westminster. The Electoral Commission has just announced that the £2.4 million donation by convicted fraudster Michael Brown's Fifth Avenue Partners was permissible and that no action will be taken against the LibDems. This despite the fact that the company was clearly not trading in any meaningful form when the donation was made.

Am I surprised? Not really. But the Electoral Commission has brought itself into disrepute over this case. When you think thaty UKIP has been forced to pay back £360,000 because a donor was inadvertantly missed off the electoral roll but the LibDems have been spared any punishment at all, it does make you wonder what kind of priorities the Electoral Commission has.

If Fifth Avenue Partners can be considered permissible donors, it brings the whole system of donation regulation into disrepute.

14 comments:

GSTER said...

I can hear the gnashing of teeth in Tunbridge Wells from here.

neil craig said...

I think they were right in this case but it to then take UKIP's money where there was no fraud is clearly incompatible with any claim that the Electoral Commission are impartial or trustworthy.

cassandra said...

Would this be the same electoral commission that covers up postal voting fraud?

The system has been rigged just in time for the general election, who watches the watchers?
It really doesnt matter who people vote for anymore, the whole system now operates like a Warsaw pact backwater, how long before whole boxes of votes dissapear to be replaced by boxes stuffed with false votes?
Welcome to the result of a decade of newlabour system rigging, why would anyone bother voting?
Does anyone think that changes like waiting overnight to count the votes was to save money and 'streamline the system?

ILLIBERAL DEMOCRATS said...

This makes me really very angry indeed!

Just goes to show that Labour will pull strings to make sure the Liberal Democrats dont go under and lose X amount of MPs that are anti - Tory.

The people i feel sorry for are the ones ripped off and their stolen money ends up with the Lib Dems. Utterly pathetic and the Lib Dems should pay it back.

The Lib Dems have not heard the last of this though as surrely under as the donation was derived 'from the proceeds of crime' - A proven link the money will have to be paid back under civil litigation? Shame it is not this side of the election.

The Liberal Democrats are a vile pious party that needs to be wiped out for the good of the country.

Labour + LD = Present state of the country.

UKViewer said...

Their priority is to maintain the established order, of the three main parties, and to marginalise parties like UKIP, who might be a threat to the main parties, as they actually have policies that make sense to voters.

This decision deserves judicial review by UKIP, given the unfair treatment meted out to them.

tory boys never grow up said...

"This despite the fact that the company was clearly not trading in any meaningful form when the donation was made."

I'm still waiting for anyone to identify where Bearwood Securities have acted as "merger brokers" - which is that company's disclosed business activity in its filed accounts.

Michael Heaver said...

Sickening.

What the hell kind of logic can be there between the two decisions?

UKIP will carry on regardless but this is another decision where we are getting screwed over big time. The question is, why?

I don't like conspiracies but..

ILLIBERAL DEMOCRATS said...

Sorry to post again but it is a shame that somebody does not finance candidates in Sheffield Hallam and Twickenham under the ILLIBERAL DEMOCRATS Banner hightlighting donation sleaze. Even better if a couple of drunks changed their name to Nick Clegg and Vincent Cable - they could campaign on the dodgy donation and be the candidates!!!

I even have some pictures and campaigning dlogans like 'lying here' and 'Shameless LDs' that can be used.

Beowulf said...

lol at the people who think Labour and the LDs are in cahoots. If we get a hung parliament I'd back a Labour-Tory coalition over any possible Lib Dem coalition.

Mark Senior said...

Now now Martin - not real name Day , you will have an apoplectic fit and end up back in the mental hospital - sorry Health Farm - where you ended up recently .
If you and the other posters read the whole judgement you will see why the Electoral Commission made this decision .
Now all we need to see now is their ruling on Lord Ashcroft's donations to the Conservatives , these are much more dodgy than the LibDem and UKIP ones ever were .

ukipwebmaster said...

They always look after their own.....

Twig said...

I just did a credit check on 5th Avenue Partners Ltd.

Quote
- Credit Rating is Suspended
- Accounts filing is late.
- There may be significant questions to be asked of this company.
- Before extending credit to this company, we recommend you order a more detailed report (if accounts have been filed).
- This company has had a dissolved warning issued by Companies House.
- In our view it would not be prudent to offer credit to this company before making further enquiries.

Unquote
+++

I can't see any record of any accounts ever having been filed (See Companies House).

The company is owned by a another company registered in Germany called "5th Avenue Partners GmbH".

There is only one Director (Michael Brown) whose address is in Palma De Mallorca.

This smells bad - I think the Libdems should return the money the the victims of Michael Brown.

Alex said...

Ian, it was clear that this was going to happen when the issue was first raised with the Electoral Commission. Peter Wardle said that his overriding priority was to preserve the current parties, not to destroy them. UKIP are right to feel aggrieved.

The EC justification (that 5Ap they were doing things that companies in business did) is obviously pisspoor. The company was set up to defraud investors, so of course it had bank accounts (how else do you make donations) and it traded some options so that it had dealing slips to show clients/victims, but even all this was happening at about the time the donations were made so there was never any real evidence that the company was in business.

Moreover the EC did not publish 5AP's draft accounts which showed that not only did just about every penny they donated come from the parent, but it came ostensibly as a loan, leaving the subsidiary in a very big P&L deficit in its accounts - clearly implying that the directors were not acting independently. Directors don't give away substantially all the assets of a company and show a net deficit in their accounts unless they have the support of their parent.

But the whole thing was a sham anyway, so for Peter Wardle to pretend that this was a bona fide donation from a UK company rather than a scam from a Swiss based fraudster is patently ridiculous.

Lauchlan McLean said...

As UKIP poises a threat to both the main parties it does not suprise me that there is a plot to bankrupt them. The Electoral Commission members are appointed by the current Government and must obey the instructions send out by No.10.