At last, the facts about Labour Leave’s payment to UKIP

Labour donor John Mills could be ejected from the party over Labour Leave’s payment to UKIP [Image: Getty].

Concern about a donation to UKIP by an organisation that seems connected with the Labour Party has been cleared up by the BBC’s Daily Politics.

According to Kate Hoey, a Labour MP who was a member of Labour Leave during the EU referendum campaign, the organisation paid around £18,000 to UKIP because it had shared a campaigning platform with the far-right anti-EU party and had to stump up its part of the costs.

The money had been registered as a donation by the Electoral Commission, and this is what caused the confusion.

My question is: What the hell was any member of Labour doing on a platform with another political party?

Hadn’t Labour learnt its lesson after the Scottish Referendum campaign of 2014, when Labour suffered grievous damage to its reputation by campaigning alongside the Conservatives for Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom?

Many Scots still believe (wrongly) that Labour and the Conservatives might as well be the same party, and the actions of Ms Hoey and her Labour Leave friends will only act as confirmation of this false viewpoint.

Ms Hoey said she had been prepared to campaign alongside “anyone within reason” during the referendum campaign – displaying a staggering lack of good judgement. UKIP is not “anyone within reason” and never has been.

Worst of all, Ms Hoey used the fact that Labour Leave was funded by Labour’s biggest donor – John Mills – as justification for its behaviour. At one point she asked if people would prefer him to stop funding the Labour Party – a clear threat.

In answer, This Writer says: Yes. If Labour’s biggest donor thinks he can blackmail the party by threatening to flounce out if anyone questions his decision to fund questionable causes that use the Labour name, then he should take his money elsewhere. He is already facing calls for his ejection.

Handing money to any political organisation should not afford the donor any special status (Tories take note).

Ms Hoey may find herself in for a rough time following her performance on Daily Politics. Already some commentators on Twitter are agitating for her deselection before the next general election, and not even over the UKIP donation.

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6 thoughts on “At last, the facts about Labour Leave’s payment to UKIP

  1. Dan

    Never mind deselection: kick her out of the party. Supporting other parties is prohibited by the rules.

  2. Florence

    Surely the explanation is as bad as the original “mis-hap”? Thanks to the Tory election expenses scandal, I read quite a bit about electoral expenses rules. It still doesn’t seem to hang well. First, if Labour Leave was being wound up, surely the funds should have been given back to the donor? Or, was Labour Leave being used for Mills to fund UKIP using Labour Leave to flout all current laws on declaration of donations over £5k? Does Hoey actually speak for Mills? I’d rather hear from him direct about his money being funnelled into UKIP. .That part deserves better scrutiny.

    Also on electoral expenses have been incurred payment has to be accounted for against a valid invoice. This is not a nicety, it is essential to tracking expenditure to prevent electoral fraud. Ditto, UKIP. Can they produce their electoral expenditure accounts to show it was accounted for, against admissible expenses?

    I think the fact that Hoey and Frank Field were two of the four, it seems that the sooner the Labour NEC have an accountant look at all this the better. Being brutally honest, I need to know who signed the cheque’s, and did Hoey and Field actually fill out the forms themselves? Really?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I fear what will happen if Iain McNicol gets hold of these accounts, considering the fine Labour had to pay for the “Ed Stone” after the general election.

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