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Monday, January 18, 2010

Brown's secret pot of cash

I must confess that I have not been following very closely the revelations of former Labour general secretary Peter Watt in his book, which is being serialised in the Mail on Sunday. However, this report in yesterday's Observer caught my eye this morning and intriqued me.

Mr. Watt alleges that Gordon Brown kept a secret Labour fund allegedly used to finance projects while his supporters were trying to unseat Tony Blair. He wrote: "This was money we could not dip into since it was set aside for the chancellor's own projects … The money was registered as a donation to the party in the normal way. But instead of going into the overall pot the cash went into a separate account which we called the 'fund with no name'."

What is not clear is how this money was spent and who it benefited. The Tories are arguing that it should have been registered with the Commons authorities as a "personal benefit". Maybe it is time we were told.
I think he'll argue that he did declare it -- here's the entry I think it is:

"4. Sponsorship or financial or material support
Help from the Labour Party for research."

It's not exactly the most explicit declaration ever, but he was scarcely going to write "slush fund".
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