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Dear Electoral Commission

Betsan Powys | 23:26 UK time, Thursday, 29 November 2007

The Electoral Commission's postbag just got that little bit heavier.

This time the correspondence is from the Secretary of State for Wales - and Work and Pensions Secretary - Peter Hain. Late last night he left Cardiff and left us under no illusions that all donations to his deputy leadership campaign were listed online for all to see.

Tonight he's admitted that he failed to register a #5,000 donation by Labour's new chief fund raiser, Jon Mendelsohn. That the Electoral Commission weren't told about it was, he says, an "administrative error".

This from Mr Hain:

"In the light of recent events, it has come to my attention that a donation from Jon Mendelsohn to my deputy leadership campaign was mistakenly not registered with the Electoral Commission," Mr Hain said in a statement.

"Jon Mendelsohn made a personal contribution of #5,000 at the end of June 2007. We wish to make clear that this was entirely an administrative error on the part of my campaign. I very much regret that the donation was not registered as it should have been and I am taking immediate steps to do so."

Mr Mendelsohn wasn't the party's fund raiser at the time he made the donation but if his name's familiar to you, it's because he's facing calls for his resignation because he was aware two months ago of the donations to Labour made via third parties by property developer David Abrahams.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 10:56 AM on 30 Nov 2007,
  • valleysmam wrote:

That does not look good for Hain.
Do politicians not check what money they have and where it comes from.5K is a sizeable amount, its not like £50 is it, I suppose it depends on how much he had overall. The other thing that really stands out is how many incompetent admin people Labour seems to employ.
I don’t have a problem with people sponsoring or funding political campaigns, what does concern me is what the donors expect or get in return.
I wonder if the old practise of cash in brown paper bags still persists

  • 2.
  • At 11:55 AM on 01 Dec 2007,
  • Che Gravara wrote:

If it is an admin error or if it is a donation that he wasn’t (or any labour member involved) wasn’t aware of it doesn’t matter. The ultimate responsibility is with the politician whose campaign it relates to. Blaming a campaign manager simply wont wash.

This scandal really does make a bit of an embarrassment for Alun Davies with his hysterical comments last week. Pot. Kettle. Black

  • 3.
  • At 03:30 PM on 01 Dec 2007,
  • Arfon Jones wrote:

Perhaps now is the time to get a few more LCO's through Westminster...whilst the Colonial Secretary has other things on his mind.

  • 4.
  • At 08:41 PM on 02 Dec 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

Has Alun Davies called for him to resign yet for bringing politics into disrepute?

  • 5.
  • At 12:52 PM on 03 Dec 2007,
  • iain morrison wrote:

Forgot to register = broke the law.
Can I forget the speed limit - time to go Mr Hain,.

  • 6.
  • At 05:59 AM on 04 Dec 2007,
  • MJB wrote:

I think we should get rid of the Assembly altegether! Why do we need another tier of polticians. Less than 20% of the population voted for it in the first place.
Give more power to the people in Wales by all means but not by this lot and not in this way.
Why not have elected Mayors with a lot more power. Each County could have a 'County Tax' if needed with the revenue being spent in that area.
We of course would still have Westminister as we do now but the power over local affairs could be dealt with by the respective Counties.

  • 7.
  • At 10:46 AM on 04 Dec 2007,
  • John Evans wrote:

* MJB wrote:

I think we should get rid of the Assembly altegether! Why do we need another tier of polticians. Less than 20% of the population voted for it in the first place.
Give more power to the people in Wales by all means but not by this lot and not in this way.
Why not have elected Mayors with a lot more power. Each County could have a 'County Tax' if needed with the revenue being spent in that area.
We of course would still have Westminister as we do now but the power over local affairs could be dealt with by the respective Counties.

This sounds a bit like David Cameron to me. Hay perhaps England could try this?, Oh thats right they have!, in London. And why have we still go to have Westminister why not do away with them lot. after all Isn't Hain based there.

  • 8.
  • At 03:57 AM on 06 Dec 2007,
  • MJB wrote:

I wonder why John Evans (7) has not picked up on my point that less than 20% of the population wanted this Assembly. I can see he belives in democracy !!
Maybe he belongs to the Welsh Nationlists who are in the minority in Wales but have their leader as second in command!
In Westminister, with the vast majority of the UK wanting a referendum on the EU Treaty and a cross section of MPs saying it is the same as the original the Goverment says - no chance.
Welcome to the crazy world of UK politics.

  • 9.
  • At 04:51 PM on 06 Dec 2007,
  • cerea wrote:

It seems MJB still doesn't get it.
The majority of people who voted in the 1997 referendum voted for an assembly - so we have an assembly. THAT is democracy.
And the present Welsh Assembly Government is made up of parties who were voted for by a majority of the voters in the 2007 elections. THAT is democracy.
And until proved otherwise, opinion polls and "cross sections" are not constitutionally approved methods of government in this country. Thank God that also THAT is democracy.

  • 10.
  • At 06:17 AM on 11 Dec 2007,
  • MJB wrote:

I,m sorry Cerea but i don,t think YOU get it.I don,t think it was democacy at work in 1997.
The Labour party having failed in the past to win a referendum for an Assembly decided in 1997 to change the rules in the hope of winning. Instead of asking for a majority of all the Welsh people it said only a majority of the ones who voted was needed. Just over 30% of the public voted, which was pathetic and the yes vote won by only a few hundred votes. So please do not tell me that this was the will of the people! A lot less than 20% of the population voted for an Assembly.
The Labour party should of said at least a 50% turnout should of been needed for the result to stand.I believe if the question was asked of us again all those stay-at-home voters would vote this Assembly out. But like the politicians in Westminister,who the hell listens to the public at large!

  • 11.
  • At 10:25 PM on 11 Dec 2007,
  • cerea wrote:

Sorry, Betsan. Just one more comment, please, in reply to MJB's postings, as the argument is getting sterile.
Of the 1997 referendum, you say:
"Just over 30% of the public voted, which was pathetic" – agreed, but I bet that if the result had gone the other way, you would have claimed it as a victory for the noes, even on such a low turnout.
Anyway, as to more recent public opinion with regard to the Assembly see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/6621677.stm

Oh and by the way, it's "should HAVE said" and "should HAVE been". Your grammar is as wayward as your views on what the people of Wales want.

  • 12.
  • At 08:38 AM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • MJB wrote:

cerea,
Well at last you have shown your true colours. You don,t care how you win as long as it goes your way.
I on the other hand will go with whatever the majority of the population wish. That is democracy.
Not people spouting off saying this is what the people of Wales want when so few voted for it.
I wont pick up on your grammer. I will let the readers decide.

  • 13.
  • At 02:29 PM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • cerea wrote:

!

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