Fraser Nelson

Over to the police

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Yates of the Yard is back. So runs the delicious rumour now the Old Bill has been dragged into the donations scandal: Yates won’t run the investigation but he has been appointed the overseeing officer. And Yates has a dossier of all the donors ready. He knows this situation backwards. To help his team on their way, Coffee House would like to do its duty for Queen and country and report the gossip around Westminster this evening.

1) The theory that Abrahams was not the “real” donor  is popular amongst those who suspect this was Israeli money being funnelled through him by fans of Blair’s position on Iraq (remember, the first donation was four years ago). After all, where would he find £600k from? 

It’s like the narrative in 24: Jack Bauer thwarts a baddie, only to find he’s working for an even bigger baddie. 

2) This is countered by those who say Abrahams is a

lonely, rich guy who doesn’t like spending money and has no family to hand his £10m fortune down to. Weird as it may seem, his definition of “status” is sitting on the front row when Blair made his resignation speech. So the current situation is plausible.

3) But where did Brown find £600,000 from to repay

the loan? As I say in my column in The Business, he has a punishing loan repayment schedule – and the unwritten story about the latest donations is how Labour did not haul in the cash ahead of Yellow Saturday.

4) Peter Watt is a basically honest guy who inherited a dishonest situation. It was illegal, which is why he left. But he wasn’t the architect.

5) Labour is trying its hardest to find dirt on Lord Ashcroft, the Tory treasurer, to serve up this weekend - thinking the best means of defence is attack. So will its researchers succeed where The Times failed? I doubt it.

6) Blair was the first Prime Minister – current or serving – to be investigated by the police in a criminal inquiry. It now looks as if Brown will be the second.

7) The YouGov poll for the Telegraph is – to quote

the esteemed Anthony King – “one of the most devastating I’ve ever seen” (more on Three Line Whip ). Okay, nothing to interest the Met. But I, for one, can’t wait. Update: In response to those who have protested (offline) about the above post, can I say that I personally don't buy the Jewish conspiracy/laundered Israeli money theory, and consider it far more likely Abrahams is a lonely old man living out the maxim about a fool and his money.

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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