When the Levy Breaks…

Labour fundraiser Levy arrested

Tony Blair’s chief fundraiser Lord Levy has been arrested.

His arrest is in connection with the "cash-for-honours" inquiry by the Metropolitan Police.

Lord Levy, 61, made his money in the music industry in the 1960s and 1970s, managing singers including Alvin Stardust and Chris Rea.

He has been a high profile fundraiser for Labour since Tony Blair’s election. Lord Levy is understood to be being held at a North London police station.

Wide-ranging investigation

Asked if he had any reaction to the news that Lord Levy had been arrested, the prime minister’s official spokesman said: "I cannot comment on that, it is a party matter."

He confirmed the peer was still the prime minister’s Middle East envoy.

A Scotland Yard spokesman would not confirm whether Lord Levy had been arrested, but did say a man had been arrested by the Specialist Crime Directorate of the Metropolitan Police in connection with inquiries into possible breaches of honours and election laws.

The spokesman said the man had been asked to attend a London police station on Wednesday morning and questioned about possible infringements of the Honours (Prevention of Abuses ) Act 1925 and the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act.

Scotland Yard is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into loans and donations made to all three parties to see if there is any evidence that honours have been given as rewards for financial help.

It was prompted by the revelation earlier this year that a number of multi-million pound loans were secretly given to Labour before the last election, and that some of the lenders had subsequently been nominated by Tony Blair for peerages.

All involved have denied any wrong-doing.

‘Fate intertwined’

BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson said the arrest was "deeply damaging for Tony Blair" because Lord Levy is a particular friend of the prime minister.

He said the fate of Lord Levy and Mr Blair was "intertwined". "It doesn’t get much more serious than this," he said.

Angus MacNeil, the Scottish Nationalist Party MP who initiated the police inquiry, called for a freeze on all future honours until the investigation is completed.

"This is a significant development and one that would appear to justify my decision to report this matter to the police," he said.

Definitely what you call a brown-trousers moment for out Imperious Leader – could this be where it all starts to unravel, or will Levy take the fall alone?

5 thoughts on “When the Levy Breaks…

  1. “could this be where it all starts to unravel, or will Levy take the fall alone?

    Could be, could be. With Blair rumoured a few times this year to step down at Conference this fits within that time line…

  2. Hang on… It’s not just a question of Levy being a ‘close friend’ of Blair’s: didn’t the PM personally appoint him? Hasn’t Levy said that he’ll quit when Blair goes? Blair might not get his collar felt in the end, but Levy comes across as the PM’s personal bagman – even though the Labour party gets dragged into the mud in the process.

  3. Well Blair is going to try and make him take the blame alone, the question is has enough mud stuck to Teflon Tony so that he won’t be able to.

  4. Anyone who reads http://www.thebigissue.net will know I always approach these things with my ‘Labour represents the common man’ hat on.

    ‘Common man’ doesn’t means flat cap and whippets but its supposed to stand up for and therefore understand their problems, feelings, aspirations and worries – this just like Prescott is an example of how Labour seems mired in a world thats too far away from that.

    My view is that it is only perception that keeps it there as this is what the media is obsessed by but they did to change perception and quick.

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