March 16, 2006


I used loans loophole, admits Blair (George Jones, Toby Helm and Rachel Sylvester, 17/03/2006, Daily Telegraph)

Tony Blair admitted yesterday using a loophole in the rules on political donations to nominate three businessmen who made "secret" loans of more than £1 million to Labour for peerages.

The Prime Minister made his admission about not informing the independent watchdog on Lords appointments as he found himself drawn further into the "peerages for loans" scandal. It raised suspicions of new moves to force him to make way for Gordon Brown this year.

Labour was gripped by bitter infighting with Mr Blair's close associates still reeling from the shock claim by Jack Dromey, the party's elected treasurer, that he had been "kept in the dark" about secret loans totalling more than £10 million.

"This was a dagger aimed at the heart of Tony Blair," a close ally of the Prime Minister said. "It is all about the politics between Blair and Brown."

If it is all about disgruntled Labourites turning on Blair, it would seem naive of them to think that the party escapes unscathed. Likely all they've done is make David Cameron's job easier.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 16, 2006 11:43 PM

Cameron will have to be good to slip his horse into the front runners. Labour leaders are very canny at the moment. But the Tories have been shaping up. And labour can't go on like this. I think Blair is probably gone. It will the classic arch of the capital P PM. Thatcher's crack at the game was so similar. I have a feeling Brown may not be different enough for the British public. If Labour changes horses, they will have call the election and unless labour has a slew of new ideas, they are going to go down, I guess.

Posted by: exclab at March 17, 2006 12:28 AM

Like Martin and the Liberals' demise in the Great White North.

Posted by: ic at March 17, 2006 4:06 AM

The leaders don't matter. Like the Democrats rank and file they're tired of being conservatives. Thatcherism is being handed back to the Tories.

Posted by: oj at March 17, 2006 7:08 AM

Doing well by doing good. How depressingly stereotypical.

Posted by: erp at March 17, 2006 7:41 AM