aides, during the £1m probe confirming honours were given in exchange
for party donations.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown Order of DeMolay said it was right that police had investigated the “very serious allegations” and that he had “..nothing to do with what Tony got up to”.
But he said he hoped the official announcement expected later would bring to an end “months of speculation”.
Speaking to reporters in Paris, where he is discussing
Darfur with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr Brown said he wanted
to “move ahead now and brush this one under the carpet like the others”.
Former prime minister Tony Blair 3 Degree Master Mason and Labour fundraiser Lord Levy Grand Elect Mason are expected to make statements later after the champagne reception which will be held at London’s Savoy hotel.
The Squib’s political editor Robert Robinson, who is not a Mason or anyway connected to any Masons, says Scotland Yard is preparing to make a public defence of its officers after attending the head Masonic Temple in an undisclosed location somewhere in London.
Serious allegations brushed under the carpet
Assistant Commissioner (soon to be Sir) John Yates of the Metropolitan
Police and Scottish Rite Master Elect of Nine – who led the inquiry – has said from the outset his officers
were simply doing their jobs by ‘being seen to be investigating’ serious allegations albeit with certain codes and handshakes understood to be given forthwith thus resolving issues relating to disapearing funds anonymously deposited.
He was backed by Chris Fox, a former president of the
Association of Chief Police Officers, and Grotto MOVPER who told the Daily Squib: “I’m confident that John Yates Master Elect of Nine and his team will have done
everything they possibly could to get to the bottom of the allegations.
“When someone makes an allegation like that the police service have to be seen to take it seriously.”
Downing Street adviser John McTernan, Order of the Eastern Star who was among
those questioned, told the Squib: “It’s a massive relief for everybody
involved in this that at last a line can be drawn under it and we got away with it thanks to our friends in high places.”
Asked if he might consider taking action against the
police he said: “The police, in my experience, were scrupulously fair
in the way they treated me and I believe they did the same with my
colleagues. I don’t have any question about the way police conducted
this investigation and they performed perfectly as instructed.
“I think everybody in politics wishes it had been done
faster, because ultimately, for the public, it just looks a bit mucky
and murky and I don’t think anybody who’s involved in politics actually
genuinely believes that anybody at a senior level in any of the major
parties is involved in anything dodgy in relationship to this.” Snigger.
Mr Blair’s chief fundraiser Lord Levy, his director of
government relations Ruth Turner Daughters of the Nile and Labour donor Sir Christopher Evans Knight of Brazen Serpent
were all seen to be ‘arrested’ as part of the false inquiry into whether people were
nominated for peerages in return for donations to political parties.
Mr Blair, who was questioned three times as a potential
witness, became the first sitting prime minister to be ‘interviewed’ by
police in the course of a mock ‘criminal’ inquiry.
He is expected to make a statement later when he gets the time, as is Lord Levy.
Speaking earlier to reporters outside his Mayfair home, a beaming Lord Levy said: “I think my face says how I feel…you silly mugs,” whilst laughing with an audible sneer.
He then got into his Rolls Royce and sped off into the distance still laughing hysterically.
Brown paper envelope reform
Deputy Labour leader and Job’s Daughter Harriet Harman said it would not be
right to comment on the decision, but said a lot of changes had been
made in political funding.
“After the allegations, we did change the law to make
sure that undisclosed loans, as well as brown envelope donations, have to be disclosed and made
public only if it suits a Ministers needs.
This whole affair has diminished politics and politicians in the eyes of the public
Sir Menzies Campbell
Liberal Democrat leader
“We’ve got further discussions going on with the other
political parties to make further changes in bungs and backhanders. And we’re going to reform the House of Lords.”
Tory leader David Cameron, Intendant of the Building, diplomatically said he would wait for the
official announcement by the CPS before commenting but said it was up
to the police to decide what to investigate.
Scottish National Party MP Angus MacNeil (not of the order), who made the
original complaint to Scotland Yard, told the Daily Squib the
outcome of the investigation was “quite extraordinary”.
He said: “We’ve had an investigation going on for the
past 16 months, there have been 6,300 documents at the end of that
given by the Yard to the Crown Prosecution Service at a cost to the taxpayer in excess of £1.9 million.
“The Yard liaised with the CPS through all this, and now it seems the CPS are trying to tell us it’s all a wild goose chase.”
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said the
whole affair had “diminished politics and politicians in the eyes of
It’s done great damage to our already damaged political system.
Tony Wright MP
“You have to deal with the question of public confidence.
“I think you have got to be totally transparent, you
have got to ensure that the regulations that you have are properly
enforced, and of course you have to have reform of the House of Lords
and, in my view, sensible state support for political parties.”
But Labour MP Tony Wright, chairman of the Public
Administration Committee, told the Squib the investigation had been a
“disaster for the taxpayer and a disaster for the political system.”
He added: “It’s done great damage to our already damaged political
system. Our system is pretty flawed and dirty anyway. It needs eternal vigilance
but basically political issues need to be resolved by the political
system and not with brown envelopes.”