James Forsyth

What Gordon Brown should have done

What Gordon Brown should have done
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As this scandal drags on it is becoming clearer that Gordon Brown made a huge political mistake on Wednesday morning.  When Jon Mendelsohn confirmed Nick Robinson’s report that he was aware of the arrangements by which David Abrahams was funding the Labour party, Brown should have sacked him. 

Brown could have issued a statement saying that he had requested the resignation of anyone in the party who was aware of what was going on with Abrahams. His failure to do so means that Brown has effectively endorsed Mendelsohn’s actions and anything that damages Mendelsohn damages him.

There is now a row going on between Mendelsohn and Abrahams about who knew what when. As the BBC reports,

“On Friday, there were contradictory claims about what was known and when by two key figures in the affair. 

Mr Abrahams said he discussed his donation arrangement with Jon Mendelsohn, now the party's chief fundraiser, in April. 

He also said that he received thank you letters from the Labour party following his donations.

But that was denied by Mr Mendelsohn who said Mr Abrahams' claims were completely untrue.” If Mendelsohn had been dismissed all this would be far less damaging to Brown. Indeed, Brown’s failure to act in the ruthless manner we have come to expect from him is one of the oddest things about this whole affair. 

Written byJames Forsyth

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

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