[IWAR] INDESP Blair's govt leaks financial intent

From: 7Pillars Partners (partnersat_private)
Date: Sun Jul 05 1998 - 10:32:55 PDT

  • Next message: 7Pillars Partners: "[IWAR] MIL/TECH future weapons systems"

    Newspaper says Blair's government has leaked key information
          Copyright  1998 Nando.net
          Copyright  1998 Reuters News Service
       LONDON (July 5, 1998 00:09 a.m. EDT http://www.nandotimes.com) -
       Britain's Conservative opposition said on Sunday it would press Prime
       Minister Tony Blair for an explanation after a newspaper report that
       lobbyists close to the ruling Labour party were offering advance access
       to secret government information.
       The Observer, in a front-page story Sunday headlined "New Labour
       insiders offer secrets for cash," said its undercover investigation
       showed former aides to Blair and other top Labour figures were offering
       advance texts of speeches and decisions, and access to ministers.
       The newspaper said its report was based on taped telephone conversations
       and face-to-face meetings with lobbyists conducted by Gregory Palast, a
       New York-based correspondent who said he was representing U.S. companies
       trying to enter the British market.
       One lobbyist was quoted in the article as boasting he gave a banking
       client advance word on government spending plans for the next three
       years, announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown last month.
       The client was identified by the Observer as U.S. investment bank
       Salomon Smith Barney, which declined to comment on the story. The
       newspaper said there was no suggestion the bank had sought inside
       information or acted upon it.
       The lobbyist was quoted as boasting he had been able to leak to the bank
       the fact that Brown was to set the growth of public spending at 2.75
       percent a year rather than the 2.5 percent widely expected.
       If the bank had acted on the market-sensitive information, "they'd have
       made a fortune," the lobbyist was quoted as saying.
       Conservative Trade and Industry spokesman John Redwood challenged Blair
       to explain the allegations, saying in a press statement: "It is
       disgraceful if people are selling Government secrets for private gain
       and pre-empting parliament."
       He said his party would question the government on the story in
       parliament on Monday.
       The Observer said one lobbying firm had passed on to it an advance copy
       of a highly sensitive report by a parliamentary select committee into
       energy policy - something which would technically be contempt of
       Other lobbyists were quoted in the story as promising easy access to
       ministers and to influential senior advisers to Blair and Brown.
       Blair's government, which has prided itself on its close ties to
       business, has already ridden out one crisis over allegations of
       The Labour party was forced to return 1 million pounds given it by
       Formula One motor racing boss Bernie Ecclestone last year after the
       government softened its line against tobacco advertising.
       Blair had to go on television and deny there was any link between the
       donation and the decision.
       The government has frequently been criticized in parliament for leaking
       decisions before it announces them to the House of Commons.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 13:10:54 PDT