"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

David Abrahams allowed by the Party to party - just when they thought it was safe to go back into the bar

Michael Crick, Paxo's mucker on BBC2 Newsnight and persistent Man with the Mike tells a fascinating tale on his BBC blog of having bumped into shy, reclusive Mr David Abrahams at the Irish Embassy Christmas ceilidh last night. Those with a long memory might recall that Abrahams originally told the BBC he had "gifted funds to my friends and colleagues" so they could make donations on his behalf because he was a "very private person who did not seek publicity".

It was on the 27th November 2007 at his monthly press meeting, that Gordon Brown was able to tell us that Nu Labour wass to return donations totalling more than £650,000 which were not lawfully declared by Mr Abrahams. Gordon Brown after a 75 minutegrilling by the Press, had to admit he knew nothing at all about the donations until he was told about them.

Labour's General Secretary Peter Watt resigned the same day after admitting he knew of the arrangements under which the true source of the money was concealed.

This sighting of Abrahams cutting a rug in the centre of the spelndid embassy apartments, prompted Michael (who always looks as though he has picked up someone else's suit by mistake) to ponder about another Labour funding scandal relating to permatan, ex bank robber Peter Hain. He therefore pursued the CPS this morning. Their man told Crick that the 2 cases are "still under review", but he couldn't give any guidance as to when the CPS might come to a decision on whether to prosecute.

Abrahams claims that the police told his solicitor last March that he was "exonerated". So our indefatigable and curious reporter rang Abrahams solicitor Louis Charalambous, (Simons Muirhead & Burton, 8-9 Frith StreetLondon W1D 3JB - Email: louis.charalambous@smab.co.ukTel: (020) 3206 710 - who won the pools for Mr Murat in the McCann case) this morning, who confirmed to him "He will not face prosecution".

The CPS position on Watt is unknown.

It was of course at the time Gordon handed back Abrahams exceptionally generous donations that the then Labour' chairman Harriet Harman revealed that she had accidentally accepted a cheque for £5,000 during her campaign for the deputy leadership from a woman , Janet Kidd , who turned out, surprise, surprise, to be acting as an intermediary for Mr Abrahams. Mr Brown claimed he had "confidence" in Ms Harman, who released a statement admitting she had accepted a £5,000 donation "in good faith" from Mr Abrahams' secretary Janet Kidd without knowing it was being given on behalf of the property developer.

So that's alright then ... good job Plod didn't come calling and decide to riffle through her dawers for evidence. Who knows what he might have found.

UPDATE : Friday 5th December 11.00 GMT - By extrordinary co-incidence the CPS has decided there is no case for P Hain to answer. Case dropped. BBC

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