Tag Archives: david abrahams

The party strategy debate: rolling highlights

Note: If you’re catching up with this post after it was published, read it from the bottom up.

Final result – both amendment and motion passed overwhelmingly. The overall tenor of the debate was more good natured than might have been expected – people did not take the opportunity to express any unhappiness in strident tones, and the party being in coalition with the Tories until 2015 was accepted and expected, explicitly or implicitly, by all speakers. Tuition fees and NHS got mentions, but brief ones. Norman Lamb’s comments about the health debate (see below), however, were unexpected and welcome.

James Gurling, …

Posted in Conference and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Peter Watt’s Inside Out: book review

When I sat down to read Peter Watt’s memoirs, Inside Out, I was curious to find the answer to two questions.

First, I’d met him regularly at Electoral Commission meetings before he became Labour’s General Secretary and he always struck me as a bright, enthusiastic – and young – person. When he was appointed General Secretary I was intrigued as to how someone who seemed so much younger and less experienced in the ways of the Labour Party than previous General Secretaries had made it to the top. For him, it was just nine years from starting work for Labour …

Posted in Books and Election law | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

Politics, money and elections: what changes with the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009?

Cross-posted from The Wardman Wire:

The last year certainly hasn’t been a quiet one when it comes to controversies over how parties raise and spend money. Whilst the massive and long-running story of MPs’ expenses has rather overshadowed the previous stories, Royal Assent has just been given to the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009, which is intended to deal with the issues thrown up by those previous events.

New rules on political donations

The changes are intended both to reduce the administrative burden on volunteers such as local party treasurers but also to ensure that more information is revealed as to the actual sources of money received by parties or candidates.

Question over the actual origin of money given to parties have come up in the cases such as David Abrahams’s donations to Labour (where he provided money to intermediaries who then donated to Labour and whose names were those in the public donations records) and the Midlands Industrial Council (who took money from individuals and in turn made donations to Conservatives, but with the MIC being declared as the donor).

In future donations will have to be accompanied with a declaration as to the source of the money (dealing with the David Abrahams type situation). Unincorporated associations making donations of over £25,000 in a year will have to reveal the source of donations to themselves of more than £7,500 (dealing, at least in part, with the Midlands Industrial Council type situation, though that £7,500 is a fairly generous figure).

There has also been ongoing controversy over whether tax exiles and similar should be able to donate.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 3 Comments
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