1/13/2008

Is this why the Tory front bench were not keen to call for Hain's resignation ?

There has been a strange gap developing in the last few days between Tory Bloggers who have been calling for Peter Hain's head and Tory MP's who have been much calmer and less willing to demand his resignation. I thought, perhaps naively that this was a new more balanced Conservative party being fairer to Labour than Labour had been to the Tories in the last years of Tory rule. But I appear to be wrong.

This morning it turns out that Gideon Osborne has had problems with donations received to run his office. The scale of Mr Osborne's problems can be seen when the donations he has properly failed to disclose are five times that of Peter Hain, calling just short of half a million pounds. I wondered if this was why the Tory front bench have been so cool on demanding Hain's head on a plate.

The donation problems though do raise an important point. Are the rules about donations clear enough ? After all, both Hain and Osborne are not stupid men, so for them or their teams to make such seemingly obvious mistakes does lead me to ask if the House of Commons are offering clear and swift advice and whether new advice should be issued. It is clear that Osborne sought advice but was not given the support from the proper officials that MP's should get. As to Hain's "oversight", it remains to be seen. However it worries me that two bright men can get caught out like this.

7 comments:

Daily Referendum said...

Nich,

Sorry but you are wrong. Only this morning on the Andrew Marr show David Cameron asked for Peter Hain to explain himself or go. Osborne was following what he thought to be sound advice from commons registrar Alda Barry. This money had already been declared to the electoral commission. Osborne tried to declare the money a second time but was told by Alda Barry that he did not need to. There is nothing cloak and dagger going on here - just a senior commons official giving out poor advice.

Michael said...

Just what I needed this morning - a story to cheer me up. It could be the break that Hain needs - that and a £25,000 refund looks like saving his job.
Until next time...

Iain Dale said...

Possibly your most ill thought out post ever. You accuse Osborne then you provide the exact reason why he did nothing wrong.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Iain, its called offering balance and not being party political for the sake of it. More people should try it.

Anonymous said...

Surely Nick is still correct ot ask the question about this ?

Anonymous said...

Yes I would agree with Nich and not Ian Dale. Yes there should be more advice and proper guidance about such financial matters. Lets face it the wrath of the Tory knives has been somewhat minimized due to their own faux pas.

David.

Man in a Shed said...

The question for the Conservative party is how to keep Hain in post - whilst attacking him at the same time.

He's destroying support for the Labour party by staying on. (Good for the part of your party on the left also I would think.)

The Osborne stuff is classic muck throwing from the New Labour spin machine can manage (the one Gordon claims was switched of with his ascension) and it hasn't stuck.

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