Some further nuggets emerged, however, despite this tendency. One was the curious interview by Paxo of Mr. Abrahams/Martin which revealed instantly that all the talk of Peter Watt having been the only one to know about him and his secret donations was a lot of bosh. Labour’s own current fundraiser Jon Mendelson had only this weekend past written in particularly effusive terms (as you would to one of your principal donors) to Mr. Abrahams/Martin:
Thank you for the message which Oliver [an official of the Labour Party] passed on to me. The party is of course very appreciative of all the help and support you have given over many years.
At some point I would like to have the opportunity to talk to you personally about our plans. As one of the party’s strongest supporters it is only right that you are kept informed with what we are doing and the priorities that we are assigning to our resources.
Any time that you are next in London I would very much like to meet to discuss this.
Director of General Election Resources.”
There can be no doubt, can there, but that the Labour fundraising machine knew exactly what the situation was concerning this man and the manner in which his donations were concealed from the Electoral Commission and the general public.
Mr. Abrahams/Martin also became very coy about the Harman donation. He could not recall much of it, he said, and when pressed by Paxo, basically clammed up, saying that Hilary Benn had been his choice for the deputy leadership. This, taken with the fact that the donation to Harman came weeks after the end of the Deputy Leadership contest will surely require significant further investigation. The handwritten ‘thank you’ note by Ms. Harman will also arouse considerable interest
The relationship that Mr. Mendelson had with Mr. Abrahams/Martin is, of course, one thing that will now have to be closely scrutinised. But is there not also a sense in which this story is Hamlet without the Prince?
I mention this because before Gordon Brown became Prime Minister this man gave £311,975 to the Labour Party – a huge sum of money – under the fundraising regime of no less than our old friend Lord Levy. Should not our attention now be turning to the issue of what did Lord Levy know of this man and when did he know it or, alternatively, what did he know of the four proxies who passed his money along?
This question is of particular interest given the Noble Lord’s considerable reputation as a fundraiser for Labour and because of two other facts.
Firstly the presence of Mr. Abrahams/Martin in the intimate circle of friends and colleagues who were at Tony Blair’s nauseating tearjerker at Sedgefield when he was finally consigned to the dustbin of history.
Secondly because of the intriguing coincidence of donations of £24,000 by Mr. Riddick and of £38,000 by Mrs. Kidd the day the bye-election for Tony Blair’s Sedgefield seat was announced. Should we not also be enquiring of Mr. Blair what he knew of Mr Abrahams/martin and his donations and when he knew it, given this curious man’s relationship to Blair’s constituency (I do not think there is any suggestion that Mr. Abrahams/Martin was a constituent of Blair’s)?
A final nugget is the apparently curious way in which the Dunn donation of 2003 was made which suggests that Mr. Abrahams/martin himself paid a cheque of the Dunn’s direct to the Labour party thus himself concealing the fact that he was the actual donor. The Dunn had said they knew nothing about the money donated in her name until Monday. But Mr. Dunn has now apologised, explaining that Mr. Abrahams/Martin had paid £25,000 into Mrs. Dunn’s account and shortly afterwards, in January 2003, she had written a cheque for that amount with the payee left blank. Mr Dunn said:
“It was done as a swap cheque. It was just done in and out. David’s put one in and we’ve put one out. I thought it was just a bit of business. It was David’s money and we’ve been used. We can’t go backwards, unfortunately.”
This was the only time they had assisted Mr. Abrahams/Martin in this way and they had had no idea the money as in fact destined for the Labour Party and, indeed, had since forgotten about the transaction.
This transaction was therefore done directly, in effect, by Mr. Abrahams/Martin in a manner that any reasonable bystander would have said was very dodgy indeed.
One other thing which was notable about last night’s media coverage was the anxiety of many commentators to try and belittle the whole thing. This is a grave mistake, there being already a considerable body of evidence on the admitted facts that would justify any lawyer finding that a prima facie case existed that offences had been committed. This demands that the CPS and the Police be involved immediately as there must now be a risk that attempts will be made to destroy or conceal evidence, particularly electronic evidence, of all that has gone on. This should curb any tendency to take documents and emails walkies…….
You would have thought Labour would have learnt its lesson the first time. That they have been caught at it again suggests that the depth of their corruption is such that they can no longer help it, being roundly addicted to the unlawful and the devious instead of the above board.
Blair is said to now regret that he and other so pursued the Tories for sleaze in the 1990s. he obviously forgot that old latin maxim:
Id Quod Circumiret, Circumveniat*
*What goes around, comes around.
31 Jan 2003: Janet Dunn makes donation of £25,000 to Labour
06 May 2003: Janet Kidd, a secretary working for Mr Abrahams, donates £25,000 to Labour.
18 Aug 2003: Ray Ruddick, a jobbing builder, makes £25,000 donation.
01 Apr 2004: Mrs. Kidd donates £10,000.
27 Oct 2004: Mrs. Kidd donates £2,000.
05 Feb 2005: Mr. McCarthy donates 25,000
29 Jul 2005: Durham Green Developments submits plans for Durham Green Business Park
05 Oct 2005: Highways Agency blocks plans for Durham Green Business Park.
22 Dec 2005: Mr. McCarthy donates £52,125
23 Dec 2005: Mr Ruddick donates £17,850, Mrs Kidd £30,000.
31 Mar 2006: Plans for business park withdrawn.
21 Apr 2006: Mr. McCarthy donates £50,000
24 May 2006: Mr Ruddick donates £50,000.
02 Aug 2006: Business park plans resubmitted.
18 Sep 2006: Highways Agency withdraws objections.
19 Oct 2006: Durham County Council grants planning permission.
May or June 2007: Gordon Brown is sent a cheque for £25,000 from Mrs Kidd but refuses to accept it because he does not know her.
22 Jun 2007: Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, registers £5,000 donation from Mr Abrahams to his campaign for Labour’s deputy leadership.
27 Jun 2007: Gordon Brown becomes Prime Minister. Harriet Harman is Deputy Leader of Labour Party.
29 Jun 2007: Mr Ruddick donates £24,000, Mrs Kidd £38,000.
04 Jul 2007: Harriet Harman receives £5,000 cheque from Mrs Kidd.
07 Jul 2007: Mr Ruddick and Mrs Kidd make £80,000 donations.
09 Jul 2007: Miss Harman writes to thank Mrs Kidd, saying the money has “gone straight to pay the bill for our direct mailing”.
17 Jul 2007: Harriet Harman registers £5,000 donation from Mrs Kidd to her victorious campaign for the Labour’s deputy leadership. 20 Nov 2007: Official figures show that since Mr Brown became Prime Minister, Mr Ruddick and Mrs Kidd were Labour’s third biggest donors. 23 Nov 2007: Miss Harman is told the £5,000 donation came from Mr Abrahams.
24 Nov2007: Mr Brown is made aware of the “secret” donations. 25 Nov 2007: Mr Abrahams admits it was his money that had gone to Labour via Mrs Kidd and Mr Ruddick.
26 Nov 2007: Peter Watt admits he knew of donations and resigns as Labour general secretary.
27 Nov 2007: Mr Brown announces that all donations from Mr Abrahams will be handed back because they were “not lawfully declared”. He said: “It is necessary that this matter be cleared up.”