Thursday, March 23, 2006

OK, so the Capita story's hotting up. But how about the other donors lenders? How about, for example, Sir David Garrard and Andrew Rosenfeld, former co-owners of property group Minerva?

Garrard has sponsored "The Business Academy, Bexley" to the tune of £2.4 million (£100,000 more than he bunked to the Labour party to support one of their flagship "city academy" schemes), not that it did much good despite what the Department for Education and Skills claims. Garrard's promised peerage was already under investigation for that sizable sum even before the extra couple of million in loans appeared. But do Garrard and Rosenfeld maintain links to Minerva as well as the government, and could those links be anything to do with the company recently gaining the right to develop a 440,000 square foot freehold in the heart of the City of London, guaranteed to earn them back hundreds of millions?

Update: I forgot - (ex-)Capita man Rod Aldridge has also bunked £2 million towards a city academy...

2 Comments:

Anonymous tom p said...

I'd've thought it highly unlikely that the freehold in the city of london was anything to do with labour. the corporation of the city of london enjoys almost city-state status, and it's not going to let any bunch of labour mps tell it who should be allowed to develop where.

I think that there's a lot of ill-thought-out links that have been drawn up without considering which body has been awarding the contracts to the companies 'involved' (not just this one by you, but by most of the bloggers I've read on this and also some journalists).

There may be a story here, but no blogger is going to become famous through wild accusations based entirely on whatever google throws up and how many search result pages they can be arsed to read.

Oh, and it's bunged, not bunked: http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/bung_2?view=uk

3/23/2006 01:52:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

You're most likely right - especially on the "whatever Google throws up" part. That doesn't mean it's not worth investigating - merely that I don't have the time to do much more than that at the moment.

The Corporation of London is an especially odd entity, based on a very limited franchise - as such I also doubt that the Labour party itself has much direct influence. But I'd be very surprised if senior party figures didn't have links to influential Corporation chaps through which they could exert some indirect pressure.

This is the trouble with this sort of scandal - once the questions start, they keep coming, and more keep getting raised. Garrard appears to have done the classic "lot of good work for charity" thing (including with some charities I've got a lot of time for), so his city academy cash could have been from a genuine desire to do some good. But now it's hard not to see him as tarnished by association.

In any case, I buggered up my sentence construction - the city academy was £2.4 million - his loan to Labour was £2.3 million. Rosenfeld bunked an extra £1 million - £3.3 million from the two co-owners of a large property developer being secretly lent to the party of government is surely enough to justify a few suspicions being raised?

3/23/2006 02:27:00 pm  

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