To use Obama’s terminology – this is a party on the wrong side of history. After the cash-for-honours scandal, we now have Labour peers accepting cash to change the law:
Four peers — including two former ministers — offered to help undercover reporters posing as lobbyists obtain an amendment in return for cash.
Two of the peers were secretly recorded telling the reporters they had previously secured changes to bills going through parliament to help their clients.
Lord Truscott, the former energy minister, said he had helped to ensure the Energy Bill was favourable to a client selling “smart” electricity meters. Lord Taylor of Blackburn claimed he had changed the law to help his client Experian, the credit check company.
Taylor told the reporters: “I will work within the rules, but the rules are meant to be bent sometimes.”
And this is the legislative chamber which ‘Justice’ Secretary Jack Straw says he’s so eager to reform, yet curiously never does. I wonder why that might be?
but the finding on Mr Straw took MPs by surprise.
The case relates to a donation of £3,000 from Cantaxx Energy, a gas company, to a Labour dinner held in Mr Straw’s honour in his Blackburn constituency in 2004. The firm was then seeking planning permission for an energy project elsewhere in Lancashire.
The committee found that Mr Straw not only failed to record the donation on the Register of Members’ Interests in 2004, but again in 2006 when it was drawn to his attention by Ben Wallace, a Tory MP, and again in 2007 when he was shown a copy of his declared donations that omitted the Cantaxx.
Draw your own conclusions.