Vince Cable came under some strong questioning on tonight's CAMPAIGN SHOW about the £2.4 million donation to the LibDems by convicted fraudster, Michael Brown. Enjoy how Vince squirms...
JS - If you want to be an honest party and stand above everyone else in the fray, shouldn’t you give that money back
VC - All the parties including ours have been damaged by dodgy donor. And that’s why we’re arguing the whole system has to be cleared up.
JS – so I asks you as specific question? Should that you give that money back?
VC - If we were asked to give the money back by the electoral commission, we would have given that money back,
JS - Take the moral lead?
VC – No.
JS – Why not?
VC – We accept the money in good faith
JS – interrupts
VC – What we are now arguing is the positive point and that all parties have accepted money from people that they shouldn’t have accepted money from. And we’ve to clean up the system.
JS – Let me make a distinction. You have said that if you were asked to pay the money back you would. Don’t you think you should have paid the money back? This is £2.5m where people have been defrauded. If you give that money back then maybe some of the people who have been ripped off by this guy would get their money back.
VC – We have accepted the money in completely good faith, not aware of any of that context. We have all been contaminated by this very very damaging system of party donation.
JS – (interrupts) in view of that context now, give the money back
VC - We want to clean that system up to ensure that people like this (interrupts) are not involved in donations again.
JS – But if you wanted to do that in a pre-emptive way you could say unilaterally… I you wanted to highbrow… we took this money in good faith, we did it all by the rules at the time, but clearly its wrong and we’re giving the money back.
VC – If we thought there was any culpability we would have taken that step. We want to clean the system up. Other parties have accepted vast sums of money from highly questionable people.
JS – Do you think you should pay the money back?
VC – No we don’t think we should give it back because we were in no way culpable morally or in any other way.
Whiter than white, these LibDems, eh?