James Forsyth

How Labour will try and fight back

How Labour will try and fight back
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The Labour fundraising scandal has taken another twist this morning with the news that there is a hunt on for the mole in the Scottish Labour party who is supposedly leaking these damaging documents. But the Tories need to be ready for the coming counter-attack from Labour. Andrew Porter reports that Gordon Brown pledged to go after the Tories on fundraising at last night’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour party. 

An obvious starting point for any Labour attack is Lord Ashcroft. Now, clearly there is no equivalence here as Ashcroft’s donations are completely legal. But the Tories would be in a stronger position if they could state unequivocally that Ashcroft is resident in this country for tax purpose. As long as they cannot, they will be forced onto the defensive as Cameron was in his press conference yesterday. Rachel Sylvester eloquently sums up the situation in her column in the Telegraph today: 

“the moral case is clear. The voters have a right to know whether a man who has a seat in Parliament has fulfilled the agreement he himself made in order to get that seat.

As David Abrahams has discovered, donors to political parties have to be absolutely transparent about their activities. There is no room for grey areas. If Lord Ashcroft is indeed resident in this country, then he should say so openly. I do not know many people who are ashamed to say they live here. There really is no good reason for bashfulness.”

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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