"The prime minister explained why he nominated each of the individuals
and he did so as party leader in respect of the peerages reserved for party supporters as other party leaders do. The honours were not, therefore, for public service but expressly party peerages given for party service. In these circumstances that fact that they had supported the party financially could not conceivably be a barrier to their nomination."
Come again?! If that really is their main line of defence then they're on even weaker ground than I thought.
I rather like this quote from Professor Rodney Barker of the LSE which is on the BBC News website... "This cannot do his reputation any good, however unjustifiably. It will increase the perception of those who see him as not entirely straightforward or entirely trustworthy. It's one more straw on the back of a rather struggling camel.
AN AFTERTHOUGHT: Isn't it interesting that the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman, a civil servant, should be briefing the media on what he says is a Labour Party matter?