The Labour Party has been receiving donations from a wealthy businessman. Only he didn’t wish to donate in his own name, so he made the donations in the names of two of his employees.
This illegal practice has now been brought to light, and the General Secretary of the Labour Party has resigned.
According to him, although he knew of the arrangement, he wasn’t aware that it was illegal.
Not saying he isn’t telling the truth, but I find it hard to believe that he didn’t even take the precaution of checking first. That would have been the prudent thing to do. Following on from the whole ‘cash for honours’ allegations, where gifts to political parties were disguised as loans in order to circumvent the disclosure rules, one would have expected a diligent General Secretary to be on his toes, so as to avoid any further trouble of that kind.
The issue in this case is the same as that in the case of the disguised loans: people taking steps to disguise the fact that they have made donations to a political party. Surely the General Secretary should have seen that, recognised the similarity, and heeded the warning signals.
If he is telling the truth, and he didn’t know that this was illegal, how utterly, utterly inept of him. I suppose that’s the best that could be said of the matter.
UPDATE. Denis MacShane on Sky News trying to use these events to make the case for state funding. These politicians are shameless.