Sunday, 25 November 2007

An odd Labour funding story

This is a very odd story from today's Mail on Sunday. " builder who lives in a former council house in Newcastle and "can't stand" Labour has been named as one of Gordon Brown's biggest donors "– prompting fresh questions over the party's finances. Ray Ruddick, who drives a battered Transit van, is officially listed as having contributed more than £104,000 to the national party's coffers since Mr Brown became Prime Minister less than five months ago. His contributions, combined with those of a woman he is linked to, make him Labour's third biggest donor under Mr Brown, behind Lord Sainsbury who gave £2million and Anglo-Iranian businessman Mahmoud Khayami, whose latest donation in September was £320,000. Since 2003, Mr Ruddick's total contributions to Labour are listed as £196,000. But standing outside the semi he bought for just £12,000 and wearing a paint-splattered fleece top, the 55-year-old initially told The Mail on Sunday he had no recollection of ever giving to the party."

How odd, how could this be?

Well it appears that "Mr Ruddick works closely with David Abrahams, a wealthy property developer who is a prominent figure in the North East Labour Party."
David Abrahams "was in the front row when Tony Blair made a speech to activists in his Sedgefield constituency in May announcing his decision to quit as Prime Minister. Last night, 53-year-old Mr Abrahams, the son of a former Lord Mayor of Newcastle, refused to say whether it was, in fact, him who funded the donations."

Things may be becoming clearer.

"The Labour Party refused to discuss what checks they made before accepting Mr Ruddick's donations, saying: "We are totally satisfied that these donations are in line with the rules.""

"Whiter than white"?

I wonder what "deals" have been done in the North East between Labour councils or development bodies and Mr Abrahams and his friends' companies? I think we will find out very soon...

I heard David Abrahams on the radio this morning and his wording was odd, I can't remember the exact wording but it intimated that he had been asked to give the money in this way. I will check the listen again feature and update this later. If this is the case then the Labour party are as expected up to their necks in this one.

UPDATE: I must have misheard as listening back there was no great hidden secret...


Labrat said...

Hmmm - might be interesting to have a look at recent property deals and planning issues to look for a certain Mr Abrahams?

Not a sheep said...

I would imagine that investigative reporters are digging even as we speak.