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How will Murdoch fund Mackenzie campaign?

  • Michael Crick
  • 13 Jun 08, 11:48 AM

mackenzie203.jpgFormer editor of the Sun newspaper Kelvin Mackenzie has indicated that he's 90% certain to stand as a pro 42 days candidate in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election; caused by the resignation of David Davis.

And on the BBC's This Week programme he revealed that his old boss Rupert Murdoch had offered to back his campaign financially:

"Rupert suggested to me that if Labour didn't put anyone up, that I would run against David Davis, if that's the case - and Rupert says he's good for the money... I might well do it," Mr Mackenzie said.

But there is one problem with that.

Mr Murdoch is an American citizen and so under British law is not allowed to contribute funds to any UK election campaign.

Perhaps Mr Murdoch will try to channel his funds through his business - NewsCorp - but that would also be illegal since NewsCorp is also American

I suppose Murdoch and Mackenzie could try and fund the campaign through one of Murdoch's British subsidiary companies. But that surely would make a mockery of our laws for foreign funding of British elections.


Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    2000 !!!
    " Mr Crick has been signed by Fourth Estate to write a political biography of Rupert Murdoch, also for a six-figure sum." so when is this book coming out then ?

  • Comment number 2.

    How much money will it need? A few thousand for a deposit then all the free publicity the Murdoch machine can churn out. I'm sure Kelvin can get any personal outlay effectively refunded by doing some 'work' for Murdoch at a massive hourly rate, which just shows how unenforceable these laws are.

  • Comment number 3.

    If he does bypass the laws it will be interesting.

    Are his US papers and Fox going to press for extending US detention there?

    How can it make sense for 8 days in the US, I believe, and 42 days here?

    Would they wear it? Would he lose sales?

    Not sure if I am being fair but Mackenzie said something approaching "he did not care how long terrorists were locked up without charge". Hooraa - somebody frame him and see how his opinion changes!

    Politicians and media moguls are using McCarthyite tactics when they almost certainly don't believe the arguments or have not mastered the detail.

    Bring it on Murdoch!



  • Comment number 4.

    "make a mockery of our laws for foreign funding of British elections" - did you really write that?

    Surely News International or BSkyB are as British as Lakshmi Mittal or Michael Ascroft are?

  • Comment number 5.

    Goodness me! A Sun political party. Not a chimps tea party? I'm not surprised Rupert Murdoch would support it since Kelvin Mackenzie is talking his usual idiocies.
    Does dear Rupe really want to get labour out of a fix so much he'll pay for it???
    Give it to me David Davies, the first sane Tory since the war!

  • Comment number 6.

    If the Sun are going to put a candidate forward for election, does that mean they will be subject to party political law and therefore have to register everyone who buys a paper as a donor or member?

  • Comment number 7.

    At 3:52 pm on 13 Jun 2008, thegangofone wrote:
    "Not sure if I am being fair but Mackenzie said something approaching "he did not care how long terrorists were locked up without charge". Hooraa - somebody frame him and see how his opinion changes!"

    Why frame him? This all relates back to the definition of terrorism in the 2000 Terrorism Act which is as follows:

    1.—(1) In this Act “terrorism” means the use or threat of action
    where—

    (a) the action falls within subsection (2),

    (b) the use or threat is designed to influence the government or to
    intimidate the public or a section of the public, and

    (c) the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political,
    religious or ideological cause.

    This covers almost everybody who expresses dissent against the government (as the old guy at the Labour conference found out in 2003 when he was arrested under this Act) - it certainly covers the editors etc of the Sun newspaper. They should be careful what they wish for!

    .....it also covers trade union leaders!

  • Comment number 8.

    this must be michael crick's worst nightmare - two tories standing against each other.

    you'll either have to try to destroy both of them or follow your childhood dream of becoming a labour mp and stand yourself.

  • Comment number 9.

    MacKenzie is one of the few people in the world who could make me vote Tory against them. Nevertheless, it will be interesting if the Murdoch press comes out against Davis. Im sure he thought he would have no problem at all being re-elected. He wasn't 'taking a big risk' as some people have suggested.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    This is a case of rich people playing politics in someone else's country. Murdoch is American. He shouldn't meddle in UK domestic politics, which is no concern of his! Perhaps, what Murdoch and Mckenzie want is to head up the UK franchise of Guantanamo Bay?

  • Comment number 12.

    #7 5andcounting

    I agree. The effort would have been better spent getting an adequate definition on the Prevention Of Terrorism Act as opposed to 42 days.

    In fairness I don't think it has been abused much but it is the kind of catchall that can be used to intimidate.

    In fact I can't remember when it came in (1917?) but it was a rushed knee jerk reaction and it has stayed with us ever since. Brown knows all this and still he played this game with 42 days.

    Perhaps somebody could lure Mackenzie into a bet. I reckon that if he was locked up for 6 weeks, questioned every day, he would confess to being Mickey Mouse of the armed wing of the Revolutionary Potato Peoples Party.

  • Comment number 13.

    exactly how will this be different from every other scam or "loan" that the parties have used for political funding?

  • Comment number 14.

    It just goes to show how bent, twisted and corrupt our political system is. And what is more how corrupt those who supposedly hold them to account - our independent press - are themselves. US multi-media owners should keep their ignorant money out of our politics. As for Mackenzie what a truly repugnant person - I'm with others stick him in clink for 6 weeks and don't tell him why then when he comes out do it again and see how soon he changes his mind. So come on Mackenzie and Murdoch show us how much contempt you have for British politics and the British people.

  • Comment number 15.

    Who cares - noone will vote for him anyway. The man's an imbecile.

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm surprised that Rupert hangs out with white trash like Kelvin Mackenzie - but then water seeks it's own level or something.

    To us poor people with (some) integrity, looking at Kelvin Mackenzie, (who said he 'allegedly' loved his constituents) the message seems to be, in order to get on, you must be a right wing bigmouth bigot, as in Richard Littlejohn. 'little' being the operative word.

    But I digress - I admire your reporting (a lot) you seem relatively sane for a political journalist - keep up the good work, don't let the book fee go to your head - and remember (for now) David Davis is "The People's Parliamentarian".

  • Comment number 17.

    I have this funny feeling that wiser heads will prevail at News International and the extraordinary step of a Newspaper contesting a by-election will not happen.

    However, if Kelvin MacKenzie does stand, I will be looking out the train timetables to get up to Hull to campaign for David Davis.

  • Comment number 18.

    Well, I'm not sure I'll go that far Ian, given that he was against the recognition that there are young gay people in the education systen (SAS and all that) and wants to fry people who are conviced of murder.
    But stiil, nobody's perfect. :) Least of all ambitious politicians.

  • Comment number 19.

    I don't know who Murdoch will finance MacKenzie's Campaign.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    I trust Murdoch will not be asking Isle of Sky's Niall Paterson to cover this event -the combination of Kelvin's motormouth and Paterson's jirky movements and facial exaggerations would surely breach "elf and safety" of any camera crew !

  • Comment number 22.

    First I would just like to point out to a few of the posters that Murdoch is Australian, and not American. He may have gained American citizenship but he is still an Australian no matter how much they try to disown him.

    Also, I am greatly looking forward to seeing MacKenzie stand in the election, and roundly beaten, hopefully to the point where he loses his deposit.

    Contrary to what the Labour party say, the public do NOT support the 42 day internment, we value our freedoms far more highly. Nor will voters go out and vote for someone the sun newspaper tells them too dispelling another myth.

    For too long the public have been treated with contempt by politicians and certain newspaper editors thinking we're all too stupid to make informed decisions on anything more trivial than the weekly shopping list, and that they should take our decisions for us.

  • Comment number 23.

    Murdoch is a realist and one of the canniest political operators on the planet. The last thing he will do is use the 42 day issue against the tories when there are other issues, such as the EU, where he is against NuLab. The chances of him backing Kelvin are zero. He knows that NULab are finished and the last thing he wants is an antagonistic tory government. Look for him to switch sides about 3-6 months before the GE so the Sun can proclaim "It's The Sun Wot Won It".

    Kelvin is right on most things (in his quaint ranting manner) but on this he's out of his depth. He is a distraction when the real issue is Brown's cowardice and the requirement for NuLab to field a candidate at a major by-election..

  • Comment number 24.

    The think is most Sun readers believe what there told and they have no idea of what 42 day dentention means. They think it will only be used on guilty terrorist who deseve and have no concept of what the disadvantages of the law are. They believe what there told and are not educated in politcs if the sun says Labour is communist hey thell believe it.

    Luckily Sun readers have a low voter turn out and DD does not represent a seat were the sun is ' popular'

  • Comment number 25.

    Remeber when 3 white coller Natwest workers where taken to America under the terrorism act.

    Surely that was a abuse of the law

  • Comment number 26.

    I can't believe that the British people would vote for anyone connected with Newspapers. We are all sick of them trying to tell us what to think and obviously assuming that we do not have he intelligence to think for ourselves. Eveyone complains about the paperazzi so why encourage such an undemocratic move. Even his Editor wants to support him so what opinions would The Sun be giving those of the people or those they make up. Although Davids decision may be illtimed at least it is honerable and David Cameron may live to wish he had backed him. All the years we've had problems with the Irish Brown could only pass this 1st reading by colluding with them and we have yet to learn what it has cost. This is really not good for democracy.

  • Comment number 27.

    No. 18 - bryanjames - you mention that David Davis supports the death penalty and is oppsed to recognition of gay issues amongst schoolchildren.

    I suggest you go to the library and read through a few back copies of the Sun Newspaper from the days of Kelvin MacKenzie's editorship. I think you will find he is not exactly a caped crusader for equality, and compassion in the criminal justice system. Perhaps you should start with the 1987 story alleging that pop singer Elton John had had sex with underage rentboys - that later cost the Sun £1m for libel. Or the headline about Australian Aborigines that ran: as "The Abo's: Brutal and Treacherous". I could go on for a very long time on this theme.

    If this is the man the Labour Party are going to allow to act as proxy cabdidate to represent their approach to civil liberties, it just sums up what a monstrous set of policies they have allowed themselves to create. He has no place in British politics.

  • Comment number 28.

    25. At 5:55 pm on 15 Jun 2008, robson90 wrote:

    Remeber when 3 white coller Natwest workers where taken to America under the terrorism act.

    Surely that was a abuse of the law

    Maybe, but in that case Justice WAS done. I'm sick of people getting 20 years for stealing £1000, but getting 3 months in an open jail for stealing £100 million. At least the US treat white collar crime with proper severity.

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    "If this is the man the Labour Party are going to allow to act as proxy cabdidate to represent their approach to civil liberties, it just sums up what a monstrous set of policies they have allowed themselves to create. He has no place in British politics."

    Adolf Hitler should have a place in UK politics if he can win a by-election. You either support freedom and democracy or you don't. You can't have a free and democratic society if you only allow people who's policies you like to stand for election. I despise the BNP but I fully support their right to attempt to get elected and condemn those who would silence them.

 

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