Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Bringing order to the chaos

Another daft o'clock start this morning, thanks to The Guardian. It alleges that Peter Hain's campaign for the Labour deputy leadership may have failed to declare tens of thousands of pounds in donations.

Radio Wales succeeded where the Guardian failed and tracked down the Steve Morgan, the lobbyist who ran the Hain bid during its latter stages. He told us he was brought in half-way through the campaign"to bring order to the chaos" - a statement that will ruffle a few feathers with some others who worked on the campaign.

The Hain strategy is to present this whole affair as a chaotic cock-up rather than some deliberate attempt to conceal donations. He has issued a statement sincerely apologising for failing to register the donations properly. It's all hugely embarrassing and offers the odd bullet for reporters to fire at Gordon Brown during his Downing Street news conference today.

The Guardian reports: "Some political sources believe Hain's political future rests on his being able to show that he is the innocent victim of chaos within his election organisation, and that there has been no deliberate attempt to conceal the sources of the donations."

Perhaps even more embarrassing for Team Hain is that it appears to have fought by far the best-funded of the six deputy leadership campaigns - and still came fifth.

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