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.