James Forsyth

More bad headlines for Labour

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The morning papers are dominated by the Labour fundraising scandal and the resignation of the Labour Secretary-General Peter Watt. The Daily Telegraph reports that,

“David Abrahams, the millionaire property developer at the centre of the furore, won planning permission for a controversial development after the Highways Agency, under the department run by the then Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander, one of the Prime Minister's closest allies, removed its objections to the scheme. The decision was made after Mr Abrahams bankrolled the party via two of his employees.

• Harriet Harman, Labour's deputy leader, received financial backing for her campaign from Mr Abrahams, which was registered as coming from one of his employees. One of her opponents, Hilary Benn, was also funded by Mr Abrahams, although this was declared.”

It should be noted, as the Telegraph does, that “There is no evidence that Mr Alexander acted improperly.”

Gordon Brown will not relish facing the press on a day when the Daily Mail is declaring “Sleaze back to haunt Brown” and The Sun is talking about ‘Black Monday’. Today’s news conference will be a real challenge of whether Brown is up to the job or not. Remember how Blair used to escape Houdini like from these occasions no matter how dire the situation was.  Can Brown do the same?

Written byJames Forsyth

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

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