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Latest from Conservatives on Cameron's flights

  • Paul Mason
  • 15 Jan 08, 06:42 PM

For those of you glued to your PCs over the issue of David Cameron's non-declared flights, as reported below and on Newsnight last night, the Conservatives have now responded, registering the Dewsbury flight and correcting the name of the donor on another flight. In future David Cameron will register all flights with the Electoral Commission. The text of the CCO letter below, and now, Mr Hain, about that 108,000....

That Conservative response in full:

Lisa Klein
Director of Party Funding
The Electoral Commission
Trevelyan House
Great Peter Street
London SW1P 2HW
Tuesday, 15th January 2008

BBC Newsnight last night drew attention to three flights taken by David Cameron in October 2005 which were declared in the Register of Members’ Interests but not to the Electoral Commission.

We have been looking into the discrepancy, and have tried to get to the bottom of what happened over two years ago.

In the case of the flight provided by Michael Spencer on 6 October 2005, David Cameron was invited by Michael Spencer to join him on his flight returning from Blackpool to London after the Conservative Party Conference that year. The cost per passenger was €899.41 per passenger, and therefore under the £1,000 threshold.

In the case of the helicopter flight on 13 October 2005 registered in the name of JJ Gallagher Estates in the Register of Members’ Interests, this was a mistaken registration. The flight was in fact paid for by Lord Harris – and covered by the registrations made for occasional use of a helicopter by Harris Ventures in the Register of Members’ Interests on 28 November 2005 and to the Electoral Commission in the name of Lord Harris on 10 November 2005. We are writing to the Registrar to correct the entry in the House of Commons register.

The outstanding question concerns the third flight - a helicopter from London to Dewsbury and then on to Blackpool on 2nd October 2005. Although a very large number of flights were declared in both registers, we cannot establish why this particular flight was only registered in the Register of Members’ Interests. Mr Cameron would therefore be grateful if you could please add this to his declaration with the Electoral Commission.

Mr. Cameron always endeavours to report everything appropriately. You will see that he has declared a large number of flights over this period to both the Electoral Commission and to the Registrar.

From this point on, in order to streamline and simplify the process and remove any uncertainty about what flights to declare and questions over their precise value, Mr Cameron intends to ignore the threshold differentials between the Register of Members’ Interests and the Electoral Commission and to declare all donated flights to both.

Edward Llewellyn
Chief of Staff


Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 10:56 PM on 15 Jan 2008,
  • Christopher Linthwaite wrote:

Roughly translated

Whoops you have got me there
I won't get caught again

However, this is completely different from what peter hain did, as he is an oik and I am an ex Etonian

This makes it the third time Cameron's got into hot water on money:

Not a happy habbit he's getting in to :-)

  • 3.
  • At 12:53 AM on 16 Jan 2008,
  • brian wrote:

Pretty pathetic on the Beeb's part, trawling up old stuff, of minor value, which had been declared in one form anyway. The Brown Broadcasting Corporation has been trying to give the impression that these technical glitches are equivalent to Hain's gross misconduct. Gordon must be very proud of you! - he's even been on ITV saying that the investigating bodies should not punish Hain!

  • 4.
  • At 08:44 AM on 16 Jan 2008,
  • Nick Thompson wrote:

Not even in the same league as Hain. In fact the idea is absurd.

I fail even to see why it should make a difference whether Hain as Christopher Linthwaite describes him is an "oik" or not and whether or not Cameron went to a public school.

Cameron appears to have made a genuine effort to comply with the letter and spirit of the rules. Hain appears to have set up a thinktank as a shell company for the benefit of donations and seems to have made little effort to comply with either the letter or spirit of the rules.

  • 5.
  • At 09:07 AM on 16 Jan 2008,
  • Rob wrote:

It is pathetic that people resort to class insults, yes David Cameron went to a private school, but so did Nick Clegg and Tony Blair. On the other hand it would be hard to call David Davis a toff.

  • 6.
  • At 09:11 AM on 16 Jan 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

It's a tad embarrassing, but these things do happen.

Hain's situation is in another league. 'Not having time' to check donations properly, and setting up a front organisation to channel funds - that's not a mistake, that's something much worse.

  • 7.
  • At 12:23 PM on 16 Jan 2008,
  • Mike T wrote:

Not in the same league, printing the correspondence now is pathetic as it really is a case of publishing the de-facto source and not the actual source of your story.

That's immediate double standards.

Comparing this to Hain no matter how much you dumb it down is a utterly fallacious argument.

On one side, you have a political party trying to stay to the letter and spirit of the law.

On the other side, a CABINET MINISTER with a criminal record (Oh, you thought we'd forgotten about that) and actually a criminal record for conspiracy who has alledgely broken the law (ignorance and incompetence is no defence in law).

And the BBC response?

Deflect the attention from alledged criminal activities by making the other lot seem just as bad.

It doesn't wash and for an organisation that prides itself (but it's look more like mass delusion from the audience point of view) on impartiality and presentation of the facts you are failing on both accounts.

  • 8.
  • At 02:06 PM on 16 Jan 2008,
  • John wrote:

Newsnight must have known it was a non-runner, but hoped it might linger with some people after they had forgotten the details.
Haven't seen subsequent programmes; has there been a retraction?

  • 9.
  • At 02:09 PM on 16 Jan 2008,
  • John wrote:

Newsnight must have known it was a non-runner, but hoped it might linger with some people after they had forgotten the details.
Haven't seen subsequent programmes; has there been a retraction?

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