Tag Archives: michael brown

In other news… Michael Brown extradited, unpaid party internships, Jo Swinson for cabinet? & other stories

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past few days…

Lib Dem donor Michael Brown to be extradited to UK (BBC News)

Convicted fraudster and former Lib Dem donor Michael Brown is facing a hearing in Spain for extradition to the UK. He was flown to Madrid on Saturday to be handed to UK officials after being arrested in the Dominican Republic. In 2008 Brown, who had gone on the run to the Dominican Republic from the UK, was jailed in his absence for seven years for stealing £36m from clients after posing

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Michael Brown arrested in Dominican Republic

The Guardian reports:

The Liberal Democrats’ biggest donor, who has been on the run for three years after being convicted of a multimillion pound theft, has been arrested by police in the Dominican Republic, the Guardian can disclose…

A City of London police spokesman confirmed Brown’s arrest. “We are pleased to hear that Michael Brown has been detained by authorities in the Dominican Republic, and are currently establishing contact with them to find out further details about his arrest.

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Michael Brown and the Lib Dems: the bits the Telegraph missed out

Today’s Telegraph splashes with the story, Revealed: secret new life of fugitive Lib Dem donor, devoting its first three pages to the tale of Michael Brown’s new life on the run in a Caribbean hideout.

Michael Brown, as our readers will not need reminding, donated £2.4m to the party just before the 2005 general election. His subsequent arrest and conviction on several counts of fraud have been an embarrassment to the Lib Dems ever since.

The Telegraph’s story is, shock horror, a little partial, though. Take this paragraph: ‘The Liberal Democrats have steadfastly resisted all attempts to force them to repay …

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Market Research Society rules that it is ethical to poll about false personal allegations

The Market Research Standards Board (MRSB) has cleared YouGov of all the complaints made about its polling of 16-19 April during the general election – but in so doing has raised a big question about what now counts as ‘ethical’ polling. The MRSB’s ruling gives the green light to pollsters asking questions on behalf of their clients which contain false allegations about a person, even if those allegations have not previously been made in public.

The Market Research Society Code of Conduct (to which YouGov subscribes, along with other British political pollsters), states that “researchers shall be … honest” and …

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+++ OFFICIAL: Lib Dems cleared by Electoral Commission over Michael Brown’s £2.4m donation

Here’s the full statement just released by the Electoral Commission:

Donations by 5th Avenue Partners Limited to the Liberal Democrats: statement

20 Nov 2009

The Electoral Commission, the independent elections and party finance watchdog, today announced the outcome of its investigation into donations made by the company 5th Avenue Partners Ltd to the Liberal Democrats. Donations totalling over £2.4m were made in 2005.

The investigation considered whether there had been breaches of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA). In particular, it looked at whether the company, reported as the donor, was a permissible donor. It also considered whether the company

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Lib Dems’ £550k deficit, 8.5% membership drop, and other facts from the party’s annual accounts

The Electoral Commission has just published online the latest sets of financial accounts for the main parties, including the Liberal Democrats, for the year end 31 December 2008. You can read the party’s statement of accounts HERE. For those who don’t want to wade through its 28 pages, though, here are a few of the sexier snippets:

  1. The Liberal Democrats had, by some way, the largest pre-tax deficit of any of the 11 political parties whose income and expenditure figures are published – the party’s income was £5.47 million against expenditure of £6.01m, a pre-tax deficit of £540,700. The report notes, ‘As a general election must be held within the next 12 months, it is vital to build the Party’s fund raising capacity’.
  2. Donations in 2008 accounted for £1.5m of income, against £1.9m in 2007. Income from membership and subscriptions was up very slightly at £808k. Net conference income was up significantly: £558k in 2008, compared with 415k in 2007.
  3. The bulk of the party’s expenditure falls in three main areas: staff costs (£1.75m), campaigning (£1.6m) and premises and office costs (£0.68m).
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