by Stephen Tall on June 5, 2008
Michael Brown – as Lib Dem Voice readers won’t need reminding – gave the party £2.4m before the 2005 general election. His subsequent downfall amid fraud allegations has prompted many an innuendo that the Lib Dems were somehow dishonest in accepting the gift.
The news today that a date has been set (8th September) for Mr Brown’s trial on 16 separate charges is bound to attract the usual Labour and Tory smears, and media half-truths. So, for the nth time, can we take the opportunity to quote the verdict of the independent Electoral Commission on the Lib Dems’ probity in this matter:
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.”