Tom Watson MP
The inside track since 2003
Interesting. Under s. 51 (“Sponsorship”) of the Act, sponsorship is provided by a party if (i) any money (or property) is transferred to the party or to any person for the benefit of the party, and (ii) the purpose (or one of the purposes) of the transfer of money (here, I presume you intend the “several hundred thousand pounds” referred to by Mr Peston) is (or must, having regard to all the circumstances, reasonably be assumed to be) (i) to help the party with meeting, or to meet, to any extent any defined expenses incurred or to be incurred by or on behalf of the party, or (ii) to secure that to any extent any such expenses are not so incurred.
“Defined expenses” means, among other things and as most relevant to this allegation, expenses in connection with “the preparation, production or dissemination of any publication by or on behalf of the party” — which could extend to the work of Mr Coulson as Director of Communications.
Setting aside the factual questions of whether (i) money was transferred to Mr Coulson for the benefit of the party (which, arguably, would have been the case if the party could avoid paying Coulson certain expenses), and (ii) the purpose of the transfer was to secure that such expenses were not incurred, and assuming that expenses in connection with Mr Coulson’s work as DoC fall within the meaning of defined expenses, the relevant legal question is:
Must, having regard to all the circumstances, the Conservative Party (or Mr Coulson on the Conservative Party’s benefit) be reasonably assumed to have accepted the alleged “several hundred thousand pounds” for the purpose of securing that expenses in connection with Mr Coulson’s work as DoC were not incurred?
Ace stuff – please bring the entire edifice down.
You & Chris Bryant (along with the Guardian) are doing the biggest service for democracy since the British imposed it upon the Empire!
Dear Mr Watson,
Further to your post re compromise agreements – you may be interested in a recent post on my employmentlawupdate.wordpress blog: http://employmentlawupdate.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/compromise-agreements-confidentiality-clauses-and-andy-coulson
keep up the good work Tom.
Let’s clear all the rotten practises out of our system.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *