Fraser Nelson

Brown at it again on party funding

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Gordon Brown is an accomplished expert in the art of misrepresentation, here's a prime example is from his press conference today:

On the political funding issue, I think the Conservative Party has exactly the same problems, revealed yesterday, in fact a problem in relation to foreign donors which is not lawful… I think the most important thing for party political party funding is that people can see this thing being sorted out as quickly as possible and that's why I regret the fact that the Conservatives have walked away from the discussions that are necessary to get an all party agreement on this issue.

Exactly the same problems? In his dreams. Four problems… 

 

1)      Cameron does not have “exactly the same problems”: no Tory is being investigated by police for a criminal act. Their problem was one of the donor not being on the electoral roll.

2)      Cameron’s dodgy donation was for a mere £7,000 accepted by a local branch from someone not on the electoral roll. Labour’s was £550,000 from a donor illegally using third parties with the knowledge of the party's last general secretary.

3)      The Tories handed back the cash voluntarily. Labour’s longstanding criminal practise had to be uncovered by a newspaper investigation. 

4)      Where is the link between this and state funding? What justifies Brown to make this leap to Sir Hayden Phillips?  The way to get this “sorted out” is for Labour to obey its own laws. Not to have a state bailout for political parties because they can’t be trusted to obey the law.

But seriously, this is how Brown operates – and it’s a skill. Perhaps his biggest one. Natural as breathing, he slips out claims so outrageous that even Blair would choke on them, and he is often believed. He did this all the way through the last election campaign (with his fake claims of 'Tory cuts'), and we can expect him to keep doing so if he makes it to the next election.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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