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John Rentoul: "The fund with no name"

Posted by Eagle Eye
  • Tuesday, 19 January 2010 at 03:02 pm

While the BBC struggles to make bricks of news from the straw of Geoff Hoon's level-voiced, utterly reasonable evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, a moment to catch up with the second instalment of the serialisation of Inside Out, the book by Peter Watt, former Labour Party general secretary (right, centre).

Three points. The most important is the confirmation that Gordon Brown was allowed to keep his own "fund with no name" within the Labour Party's accounts, which Watt thinks he used to pay for his own focus groups, but didn't know. Watt says:

Technically, there was nothing improper about it, but it always seemed strange that he should have his own stash of cash.

That seems a forgiving assessment. Possibly this is because the existence of the fund does not reflect particularly well on Watt himself. Surely, at the very least, Brown or his staff should have been accountable to Watt - as the Labour Party's financial officer in law - for the spending.

I am surprised that this story has not been followed up more by most of the media. Although of course they are busy rewriting history down at the Iraq Inquiry at the Queen Elizabeth Centre in Parliament Square.I have not been a fan of the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics, but this strikes me as legitimate.

Points two and three on Watt to follow.



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