Thursday, 24 January 2008

Hanging on...

The news from Westminster is not good for the Labour party in Scotland (which is not Scottish Labour – and I won’t call them that). It seems that their esteemed Secretary for Work and Pensions (and Secretary of State for Wales) has – FINALLY – decided to resign from the cabinet in order to “clear his name” regarding the £103,000 of undeclared donations to his campaign to become deputy leader of the Labour party.

There are – as Nick Robinson points out – clear differences between the case of Peter Hain (over £100,000 ) Harriet Harman (£5000 from a proxy donor) and Wendy Alexander (£950 from someone who was not a permissible donor).

But I’ve spotted another difference.

Peter Hain clung on as long as he could (and claimed he was “too busy” to lodge the donation) but resigned when the police got involved.

Harriet Harman is still there, guilty more of insufficient checks on donations.

But Wendy? Well, the Electoral Commission will report back next week. But having already admitted that she committed a crime – albeit unintentionally, which doesn’t make it any less of a crime – and with the police also investigating her, her future as leader of the Labour party in Scotland, and indeed, as an MSP, must be in doubt.

That, plus the fact that there is no one - apart from maybe Nicol Stephen - who could do worse than her at FMQs...


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