When I wrote this of LibDem donor Michael Brown in response to an anonymous post, I was perhaps more perceptive than I could have imagined...
"You'll regret the day your Party ever laid eyes on that man. Mark my words."
Last Friday I speculated that if the LibDems were forced to return the £2.4 million donation it could leave them bankrupt. See HERE. I was faced with the predictable torrent of comments from LibDems saying I was foaming at the mouth and being over-dramatic and there wasn't a story here. Really. The Times and other newspapers seem to agree with me that the return of the money may become a reality. These comments from Peter Wardle, the Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission, in The Times this morning will have struck fear into the hearts of a number of LibDems. He said: “The inquiry concerning the status of 5th Avenue Partners is ongoing. The Commission has not closed this case." Be afraid. Be very afraid.
There's no danger of the Libdems going bankrupt. Or, the Labour Party for that matter. Even if Cherie Booth QC JP refuses to get a £6 blue-rinse from Kwik Kutz Ladies Hairdressers.
While individual donations are uncapped, parties that command 10% plus of the vote, have strong records of sustainable support, sufficiently distinctive platforms and good name recognision will never have a problem finding sympathetic multi-millionaires willing to save them in their hours of need.
Who can doubt that Lord Sainsbury or Lord Ashcroft wouldn't sign a £10m cheque in an instant if their party's survival depended on it? Although the Libdems will have fewer supporters, I think it unlikely that they wouldn't find anyone.
Besides, this is good timing. The Libdems don't have to fund their General Election campaign for years. They can afford to be poor right now.
The Times article is online at
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