Yet another Minister, Peter Hain—Labour MP for Neath, Secretary of State for Wales and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (busy having a crackdown on fraud)—seems to be having a spot of bother with his donations. Who would'a thunk it?
Hain had already admitted to an "administrative" error with one donation and now, as broken by Guido, it seems that there is at least one more dodgy donation.
As broken by Guido here earlier. The obvious questions are
- Why didn't he 'fess up last week during his last admitted bout of amnesia?
- Why wait until Guido chases his fundraiser?
UPDATE 20.30: For the record Guido made his first phone-call to Huw Roberts at 12.57 today. Guido called repeatedly his office, mobile and home numbers. Huw returned the call around 15.30. The story was up on the blog by 16.07, Joe Carberry, Hain's SpAd, told Guido at around 16.30 that the story was untrue.
Hain released a self-serving statement this evening, just in time for the 6pm news shows, saying he went to see the Electoral Commission "this afternoon". Guido would like to know if this was arranged in advance or was it impromptu? Funny coincidence of timing.
The BBC finally caught up a little later.
Cabinet minister Peter Hain has said more donations to his Labour deputy leadership campaign "were not registered as they should have been".
Mr Hain has already admitted one £5,000 donation was not registered, blaming an "administrative error".
Let's call this "administrative error" what it really is: a criminal act.
He is reviewing all donations and apologised for the "extremely regrettable" events.
Indeed, Peter: it will be extremely regrettable if you have to go to prison. For you, I mean: I will, of course, be laughing like a fucking demon.
In a statement, Work and Pensions and Welsh Secretary Mr Hain said: "In light of recent events I have undertaken a review of all donations to my deputy leadership campaign.
"This afternoon I have been to see the Electoral Commission to inform them that further donations to my campaign were not registered as they should have been."
He said he was preparing "a full declaration" to the Electoral Commission, adding: "This is extremely regrettable and I apologise."
The time for a full declaration, Peter, was at the time that the donations were made, you cheating criminal scum.
Yes, all of this is tawdry and sordid, but it would only be just that one of the most tatty and unpleasant control-freak governments of British history be brought down by something minor and grubby like this. Were they to be defeated by something massive, NuLabour would go down in history and they deserve to be nothing more than a footnote in the history of democracy.
There is, of course, an added irony in that these people are being brought down by laws that they themselves implemented; laws that they introduced in order to screw over their political opposition.
Every time that I am able to pause and catch a breath, something funnier happens. I'm not sure that I can take anymore...