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Monday, November 26, 2007

Labour General Secretary resigns

Is this the fresh start we were promised or just more of the same? Labour general secretary Peter Watt has resigned following the revelation that a property developer made donations to the party via three associates. Mr Watt told a meeting of officers of Labour's National Executive Committee he had known about the arrangement.

Surely the case for further reform of party funding has now become overwhelming.
How did he not know it was illegal? I'm hardly the most knowledgable on election law and I know it is illegal, so how on earth can he claim he didn't?
Well if he didn't know he should have been sacked anyway for incompetence. General Secretary for 2 years - you think his lack of knowledge of basic election law would have become apparent befre now.
Have a look at Guido Fawkes and the evidence re the planning application and the company involved. Astonishing.Outline planning granted in October on a major application promising thousands of jobs lodged only in July to a company with no previous experience of developing. In fact the two directors are a jobbing builder and a part time secretary. The first phase of the develoment in the North east promises to bring 5000 jobs. The real question is why it was granted to a company which was only registered in Companies House just before the outline application was approved. This whole saga is going to run and run with fatal consequences for the Labour Party.
According to the BBC this morning Mr Watt used to be the Labour Party's "compliance officer" on rules and regs in relation to donations and the like. Shouldn't he therefore have known umm... the rules and regs?
There were more revelations on "Newsnight" tonight. On the same programme, Martin Bell - who has obviously maintained his political contacts since he left the House of Commons - hinted at more to come.
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