Nailing the Michael Brown smear

by Stephen Tall on November 28, 2007

Iain Dale has, yet again, raised the issue of the £2.4m donation to the Lib Dems from Michael Brown. According to Iain this shows the party hasn’t a leg to stand on when we demand that Labour and the Tories clean up their act. So it’s interesting to compare the arch-Tory blogger’s take with the impartial Electoral Commission’s verdict:

“The Electoral Commission has previously made clear its view that it was reasonable for the Liberal Democrats – based on the information available to them at the time – to regard the donations they received from 5th Avenue Partners Ltd in 2005, totalling just over £2.4m, as permissible.

“It remains the Commission’s view that the Liberal Democrats acted in good faith at that time, and the Commission is not re-opening the question of whether the party or its officers failed to carry out sufficient checks into the permissibility of the donations.”

There is, of course, a separate issue which is still under investigation: was the money that Michael Brown gave to the Lib Dems his to give away. But that has nothing to do with Iain’s repeated smears that the party was somehow dishonest in its handling of the Michael Brown donation.

Accused by Iain Dale. Cleared by the Electoral Commission. I know who I find more credible.