Tories taunt Blair with prospect of prison


David Cameron taunted Tony Blair yesterday with the prospect that he could face prison as a result of the police inquiries into the 'cash for honours' scandal.

During a rowdy Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons, Mr Blair came under pressure from Opposition MPs over the embarrassing prospect that he might become the first serving Prime Minister to be questioned by police about party funding.

The Conservative leader called on Mr Blair to answer questions about a shortage of prison places, "Prime Minister – back to prison. Actually, that has got a ring about it," Mr Cameron said to loud laughter from Tory MPs.

...During the clash with Mr Blair, an SNP backbencher held out his wrists as if about to be handcuffed.

The Tory leader's decision to taunt Mr Blair with the possibility of prison follows growing confidence in the Conservative hierarchy that they are in the clear. The police investigation now focuses on the peerages offered to businessmen who loaned Labour millions of pounds in secret to pay for the 2005 general election campaign.

Although Michael Howard, the former Conservative leader, was interviewed by police on Monday, Tory sources said they believed his role was negligible. He had been questioned as a possible witness and was not under suspicion of having committed any offence.

Downing Street said yesterday that the Met had not yet asked to interview Mr Blair, though he is expected to be questioned soon as the inquiry nears conclusion.

Mr Blair is keen to avoid the humiliation of being forced to attend a police station if he is questioned.
Please please PLEASE....


:oops: Sorry.
It is a Russian (and I believe not only Russian) saying:

A thief shouts: capture a thief!
Carlos_Hathcock_II said:
Please please PLEASE....


:oops: Sorry.
No put him in with Abbu Hamza and then re-enact the prison olympics like they had at FYI :twisted:
eveyuk said:
That picture looks like the monkey house, how much do we pay these lot?
I watched PMQ's and saw the tory fools bouncing around like a mong on acid.

Although the prospect of Bliar in jail brought a smile to my face. But as if it would ever happen
vandyke said:
eveyuk said:
That picture looks like the monkey house, how much do we pay these lot?
I watched PMQ's and saw the tory fools bouncing around like a mong on acid.

Although the prospect of Bliar in jail brought a smile to my face. But as if it would ever happen
Is it just me or does Oliver Letwin look like he's on his vinegar stroke??? 8O
Agent_Smith said:
vandyke said:
eveyuk said:
That picture looks like the monkey house, how much do we pay these lot?
I watched PMQ's and saw the tory fools bouncing around like a mong on acid.

Although the prospect of Bliar in jail brought a smile to my face. But as if it would ever happen
Is it just me or does Oliver Letwin look like he's on his vinegar stroke??? 8O
Odious Oliver looks near to spontaneous combustion.
Maybe he'll meet the Rt Hon Jeremy Thorpe in there and be addressed with 'You're like a frightened little rabbit' as he sees the tray with a towel and a tube of lube on it going towards him.

Wonder if the t0sser will bite the pillow?
mukhabarat2003 said:
Maybe he'll meet the Rt Hon Jeremy Thorpe in there and be addressed with 'You're like a frightened little rabbit' as he sees the tray with a towel and a tube of lube on it going towards him.

Wonder if the t0sser will bite the pillow?

Reminds me of William Whitelaw's quip about Harold Wilson:

"He is going round the country stirring up apathy"

Particularly true of Tories post-Thatcher.
According to the New Statesman (and the Iain Dale blog), Yates of the Yard has been promoted (temporarily) to Deputy Commissioner from Assistant Deputy Commissioner.

If true, could this have something to do with a requirement to use the authority of a higher rank...for example, to authorise intrusive surveillance under s32 of the the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, under which the Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolis (and equivalents in other forces etc) is the senior authorising officer?

Or is it tinfoil hat time? I like the thought of Bliar etc being bugged to employ the normal pinch of salt that should be taken with such notions!

Many of the papers today point to Yates of the Yard knocking on Bliar's door within the next 5 weeks. Some commentators think that Michael Howard was only questioned to provide some perception of impartiality in the inquiry. I doubt this; Howard would have been close to the centre of the honours process and an essential witness as to what went on. For those few Labour supporters willing to defend the honours process in public, the difference between Howard and Bliar is that Howard may have wished to reward Tory donations with ennoblement but the only person with the authority to do so is Bliar. Moreover, it could be construed that Howard was materially innocent - he may well have been invited or permitted to submit nominations for the Lords on the basis that a connection with a large donations was an acceptable reason for ennoblement. It is the government who runs the system, not the Opposition (although it can be reasonably pointed out that this practice probably predates 1997 in principle if not in magnitude - nevertheless, perpetuating a wrongdoing does not exonerate Bliar).

If Yate's temporary promotion is genuine, this may well be due to the requirement for extra powers. I'd like to think these involve intrusive surveillance of the guilty barstards, sorry those under investigation! :twisted: I think someone will face criminal charges over this, probably not Bliar, maybe not directly related to flogging peerages for loans.

Senior Labour names in police sights as probe into Tories 'ends'

By Jasper Copping

Last Updated: 11:31pm BST 28/10/2006

Detectives investigating the "loans-for-honours" scandal are winding up their inquiries into the Conservative Party to concentrate on senior Labour Party figures for the final phase of the investigation.

Officers have completed their "scheduled" interviews with Conservative officials and supporters and, following their meeting with the former leader, Michael Howard, last week, there are no more "in the pipeline", The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

The news will intensify pressure on the Prime Minister, who is likely to be questioned before the end of the year, when officers complete their inquiries. Scotland Yard is investigating allegations that Labour and the Conservatives gave peerages to wealthy benefactors in return for loans, some solicited illegally.

At least 49 people have been questioned, including officials and donors from both major parties. A senior source close to the investigation said: "There isn't anyone in the pipeline on that (Conservative) side at the moment."

The inquiry was launched in March after it was revealed that four businessmen who gave Labour £5 million in secret loans were subsequently nominated for peerages by Tony Blair.

Dr Chai Patel, Sir David Garrard, Barry Townsley and Sir Gulam Noon all had their nominations later blocked by the Lords Appointments Commission. The inquiry has since broadened into an examination of the legality of the multi million-pound loans sought by the Conservatives and Labour before the general election last year and whether they were made at a commercial rate. Police have gone out of their way to stress that they have been investigating the Tories as well as Labour.

The Conservatives borrowed £16 million from 13 backers and Mr Howard became the first party leader to be interviewed, at his London home on Monday. He was questioned as a witness and was told that he was not under suspicion. He is unlikely to be questioned again.

Party insiders have suggested the interview may have been carried out in order for police to appear "even handed" when they question Mr Blair.

Officers have also questioned under caution the Tory donor Robert Edmiston, who converted a £2 million loan into a donation this year to help to avert a funding crisis for the party. Mr Edmiston's nomination for a peerage was later blocked by the Lords Appointments Commission.

Officers have also questioned other leading Conservatives without cautions, including Lord Ashcroft, the former party treasurer, who made a £3.5 million loan which he made public.

A spokesman for the Conservatives refused last night to comment on the developments. "This investigation has sprung a lot of surprises already," he said. "We have always said we will co-operate fully with the investigation."

Police have interviewed a number of Labour figures, including one of Mr Blair's top advisors, Ruth Turner, who was questioned under caution. Last week, Downing Street refused to comment on reports that Jonathan Powell, the Prime Minister's chief of staff, has been questioned.

The three people arrested so far are all connected to Labour. They include Lord Levy, the Labour fund raiser known as "Lord Cashpoint".

The Sunday Times - Britain

The Sunday Times October 29, 2006

Police close in on Blair over donors
David Leppard and Robert Winnett

LABOUR’S chief fundraiser has implicated Tony Blair as the key figure in the cash-for-honours scandal, a well-placed source has revealed.

Lord Levy, a close associate of the prime minister, told Scotland Yard detectives last month that he was acting on the direct orders of Blair when he secretly obtained £14m in loans from businessmen to fund the party.

He has been questioned twice in the past four months after it emerged that four businessmen who lent Labour money were also recommended by Blair for peerages. The honours were blocked by an official watchdog.

Levy’s potentially incriminating testimony could prove crucial to the decision to question Blair — the culmination of a seven-month inquiry. Police hope to interview the prime minister within the next five weeks.

A prosecution source said: “Levy told the police that everything he did was for the top man. It wasn’t for anybody else, just for Blair. That’s why the PM has to be interviewed.”

The Sunday Times, which exposed the scandal, has established that Blair hosted dinners and meetings with those who went on to lend money to Labour. He personally approved the controversial loan scheme.

Matt Carter, the former general secretary of the party, who signed off the loans, is understood to have been questioned by detectives recently.

A friend of Levy said this weekend: “The prime minister knew all these people [who lent money] and it was entirely his decision who became working peers. He is right at the centre of the whole thing.

“Lord Levy was against raising money through loans but did so after being asked to by Blair — amid serious financial problems for Labour. He has nothing to do with honours and could not offer anyone anything — that is up to the prime minister.”

Although no final decision has been made, the Metropolitan police hope to interview Blair before the end of next month to conclude the first stage of its inquiry. The Crown Prosecution Service will then decide what action to take.

Another well-placed source, who has been briefed on the inquiry, said Levy — known as “Lord Cashpoint” within party circles — could yet face criminal charges. It follows initial scepticism among prosecution sources that the investigation would lead to action.

“The police are not ruling it out. It’s partly a question of what level of charge to go for,” the source said.

As the scandal has unfolded, police have arrested three people and interviewed at least 50. Last week Michael Howard, the former Tory leader, became the latest high-profile figure to be questioned, at his home in central London.

Levy, a former music industry executive elevated to the Lords by Blair in 1997, has been questioned over two possible offences. At least three other senior Downing Street aides, including Jonathan Powell, Blair’s chief of staff, have spoken to the police.

During Levy’s interviews he was asked whether he had offered the prospect of a peerage to potential donors in exchange for funding Labour in the run-up to the general election last year.

However, a friend of the peer said: “The idea he was handing out peerages is ridiculous. If honours were on offer to people giving cash to Labour, Lord Levy could fill the Royal Albert Hall twice over.”

Levy was also asked whether he knew of any plans to tell donors to disguise their backing for the party as loans, or whether he solicited loans that were not on commercial terms. This would constitute a criminal offence under electoral laws introduced by Labour in 2001. Levy denies breaking any law.

The peer has privately insisted that Blair was intimately involved in the loans scheme, which would make it difficult for the police to prosecute Levy without bringing charges against the prime minister. He remains ultra-loyal to Blair. The prime minister has indicated he is prepared to take responsibility for the loans scheme.

Lord Oakeshott, a Liberal Democrat peer, said: “The police can hardly conclude their inquiries into the possible sale of Labour peerages without interviewing Blair who is the monopoly supplier.”

This weekend new details emerged revealing Blair’s pivotal role in the affair and his close relationship with the 12 businessmen who lent £14m to the party.

This has led to speculation that the prime minister may have had a direct role in lining up the donors. A Downing Street insider revealed that each had “met and knows the prime minister personally”.

Blair is close to all four donors nominated for peerages: Sir David Garrard, Barry Townsley, Sir Gulam Noon and Chai Patel.

Townsley, a stockbroker, and the Blair family are “good friends”; Cherie Blair is said to have accompanied Townsley to the Chelsea flower show. Blair has praised Garrard, a property developer, and his wife, Maureen, for their “vision” in sponsoring city academies.

He has also met Patel to discuss “health issues” and Noon, a ready-meals tycoon, has visited Downing Street to advise Blair on race relations in the light of the terrorist threat.

The insider claims Andrew Rosenfeld, who lent Labour £1m, had a private dinner with Blair at No 10.

Blair also allegedly met Nigel Morris, who lent £1m, at a party at the home of Sir Ronald Cohen, another donor. Friends of Levy point out that at the time the peer had not met Morris.

Sir Christopher Evans, a biotech tycoon who lent £1m and was one of those arrested, is said to have had “multiple meetings” with Blair at No 10 to discuss “science projects”. Richard Caring, who lent £2m, is also claimed to have held “several meetings” with Blair.

The insider said: “These were not people who were tapped up out of the blue by Lord Levy for loans, they were well known to the prime minister. Only those who were personally approved by Blair were approached.”

Police have obtained internal correspondence from Downing Street. Of particular interest is thought to be a series of e-mails sent within Downing Street discussing those who had lent money and who were to be nominated for peerages. Detectives have also removed Levy’s diary.

Blair has refused to reveal details of any meetings he has held with the businessmen.

Senior sources are annoyed at what they claim is a biased police operation. Everyone arrested has been linked to Labour or the government and Blair is said to be preparing an “outspoken” response following the conclusion of the inquiry.

One source said: “Blair believes the whole thing has been biased. The Tories have been taking loans — and giving peerages to those making loans — for years, yet none of them have been arrested. Why not?”

Levy declined to comment.

Fifty questioned in honours inquiry

Scotland Yard has so far arrested three people and questioned at least 50 in the cash for honours inquiry, writes David Leppard.

Those arrested include Lord Levy, Labour’s chief fundraiser, Sir Christopher Evans, a donor and founder of Merlin Biosciences, and Des Smith, an adviser to the government’s city academies programme.

Those questioned under caution — an indication that they are being treated as potential suspects — are Ruth Turner, Downing Street’s director of government relations and John McTernan, Tony Blair’s director of political operations. Others who have been interviewed include Michael Howard, the former Tory leader, Ian McCartney, the former Labour chairman, and Lord Sainsbury, the science minister who lent £2m.

Chai Patel, Sir Gulam Noon, Barry Townsley and Sir David Garrard, who all made substantial loans, have also been quizzed.

Detectives are investigating possible criminal offences under the 1925 Honours Act. They are also looking for evidence of breaches of the 2000 Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act, which makes it an offence for political parties to fail to declare donations.,,2087-2426786,00.html
If Bliar was seen on live television raping and murdering a 6 year old he would not go to jail. He is above the law and knows it. No one in this country with the power to send him down will do so because they do not have the courage.

Blair in jail? Put money on Charlton winning the Premiership - you'll get better odds.

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