Now isn\’t this interesting?
The Electoral Commission has asked Labour to explain how David Abrahams was able to give almost £400,000 to the party without his name appearing on its register of donors as the law requires.
Mr Abrahams, a property developer, has admitted covertly donating money to Labour by giving it to two of his employees who then passed it the party.
Disclosure laws say anyone donating money to a party on behalf of someone else must declare that person\’s identity at the time.
Well, of course, it\’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, isn\’t it? So this £400,000 will in fact be forfeit to The Crown (in the form of the Treasury) just as that donation to UKIP was because the donor was not on the electoral register. Won\’t it….I mean of course it will. Who could doubt that there is a level playing field?
Mr Abrahams, the son of a former Lord Mayor of Newcastle, is a well-known figure in Labour circles, and attended Tony Blair\’s farewell speech in Sedgefield when he stepped down as Prime Minister in June.
He says he made the donations to Labour via Mr Ruddock and Ms Kidd because he did not want to attract publicity.
He said: "I\’m a member of the Labour Party and have been for about 40 years; since I was 15.
"I have always been fortunate enough to be able to make substantial donations to several charitable organisations as well as to the Labour Party for a number of years.
"But I am a very private person and I did not want to seek publicity.
"I gifted money to my friends and colleagues so they could make perfectly legal donations on my behalf.
"Donors to the Labour Party get a lot of publicity and I did not want that.\’"
Gifted Mr. Abrahams? Gifted did I hear you say? And I do hope that the appropriate gift taxes were declared and paid upon these transfers? As we all know, you\’re allowed to make gifts of up to £2,500 a year to a specific person, above that amount there\’s a suspicion that you might be avoiding inheritance tax as and when the time comes. So such gifts need to be registered (don\’t they?) so that the appropriate taper relief can be applied as and when you keel over.*
We wouldn\’t want to find out that you were in breach of tax law as well as that upon political donations now, would we?
*This probably isn\’t correct in detail but it is broadly. Any tax experts out there like to comment?