Thursday, June 19, 2008

Alan Duncan Oil Slick: Tories Spiking Bad News?

Oh dear. Labour Matters' reported on the Alan Duncan - Conservatives - Sleazy Vitol Oil story but now have crossed through references to The Spectator and The Times coverage HERE.

The Telegraph's online story we linked to HERE has also been taken down. But Reuters are made of sterner stuff and the underlying stories about Vitol in trouble with Food for Oil and with Oil for Iran are still all present and correct.

What could be offensive about the other stories I don't know. Essentially the Conservatives have taken £160,000 from the UK boss of Vitol and a 30-year friend of former oil trader/consultant and current slick shadow mimicster for "doing the business", that's one Alan Duncan MP.

An extremely adjacent amount of money was then passported through to Mr Duncan's office. But like George Osborne and around nine others (see Hencke link below) he didn't think he should have to declare this in his Members' Interests. Now we hear he has done so. Or perhaps that's the Electoral Commission register? Cos it's not here.

Mr Osborne also doesn't let on about his generous city friends, though fortunately my old schooly Chris Grayling spills the beans about his benefactors at Midland Chilled Foods of Willenhall who pay for HIS office. He 'fessed up in February.

Obviously taking money from sources very closely related to your parliamentary role and in particular to a potential future government role is a very serious matter. Not recording it properly even more so. Far, far more problematic you'd have thought than lateness or errors in declarations related to an internal party election.

The Times, Telegraph, and Spectator seem to disagree and to have agreed to kill their stories on request from CCHQ and/or Duncan's weaselists.

The Observer still have a 2001 story revealling that Duncan is an ex-employee and that Vitol gave $1m to the Serbian war criminal Arkan to oil the wheels for them in his 'yard.

The Sunday Mirror have not rolled over either, though they allow Alan Duncan's spokesman to claim:

A spokesman for Mr Duncan said no money was given to his office and no cheque was made out in his name. "There is no question of £160,000 going to Alan's office," he said.

Meaning what exactly? That, as we know, the money was passported through CCHQ? That the amount passported differed in some way from £160,000. Top weaselish that!

And the Guardian's David Hencke report on all the Tory Shadow Sleaze links has also survived the cull. We think a little digging will find Duncan's former employers and current benefactors being dirty dealers in Burma, in Nigeria, and wherever else the opportunity presents. Same old same old.

LOL is on catch up, hat tip to Hopi Sen who had the news from Sunny at Liberal Conspiracy.

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