Let us give credit where credit is due. Baroness Jay, Labour member of the House of Lords and daughter of former Labour PM Jim Callaghan, appears to be remarkably sharp.
Until earlier today, everyone in the Labour party was categorising themselves into one of two groups:
(a) The “we didn’t know anything about the David Abrahams” group, and
(b) The “we knew about David Abrahams but didn’t think there was anything wrong with his approach to donations” group.
Step forward then, Baroness Jay. She tipped off the Hilary Benn for Deputy Leader campaign that the £5,000 it was being offered in the name of Janet Kidd was really from David Abrahams, and as a result his campaign rejected the donation. (Source: PA, and many other reports)
She therefore appears to be in the unique position of saying (a) she knew about David Abrahams’ approach to donations and (b) knew there was something wrong with it. Congratulations, Baroness.
Congratulations too to Sky journalist Joey Jones for getting to speak to Baroness Jay about what happened. You can read his interesting account over on the Sky News blog.
It does all leave one odd inconsistency though. According to Baroness Jay, David Abrahams approached her about donating “discretely” (i.e. via Janet Kidd). Yet according to Gordon Brown in his press conference today, it was Janet Kidd who approached his leadership campaign to donate funds (and was rejected, even though at the time she was on record as being a major Labour donor). Why would David Abrahams have approached the Harriet Harman campaign personally but the Gordon Brown campaign via an intermediary? Life is sometimes messy and inconsistent; or is there more to come out on this?