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