Blair's Secret Donors Exposed
The Sunday Times, November 17th, 1996
Tony Blair with Jewish moneyman Lord Levy
Tony Blair is receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds in undisclosed donations through a private account despite the Labour party's commitment to openness about its funding. A Sunday Times investigation has discovered some of Britain's richest tycoons have given donations under an arrangement made by Blair's office to disguise their identities.
They include Sir Trevor Chinn, chairman of Britain's biggest motor dealers who was knighted by the Tories, and Sir Emmanuel Kaye, a multi-millionaire The fund is being used to help pay Blair's staff and other private expenses. No trace of the donations appears in the labour party's accounts The Labour Leader's Office Fund is particularly mysterious. It was established about a year ago and was manged by Blick Rothenburg, a City accountancy firm.
Michael Goldstein, a partner in Blick Rothenburg, who looked after the fund, said, 'I really don't now anything about it. Where did you get our name from'?
David Rothenburg, the firm's senior tax partner, was in Israel this weekend and unavailable for comment.
Many of the donors are pillars of the British establishment and have long and distinguished entries in Who's Who Alex Bernstein, former chairman of Granada is understood to have donated Bob Gavron, a publishing millionaire who has publicly donated directly to the Labour party, has also given £35,000 to Blair's private office.
Chinn, 61, is chairman of Lex Service and President of the Joint Israel Appeal, Britain's biggest fundraising charity for Israel
The Labour Leader's Office Fund was set up last year by Jonathan Powell, Blair's chief of staff and brother of Sir Charles Powell, an aide to Margaret Thatcher Blair is understood to have wanted to develop a source of finance that would give him independence from the Labour party to help pay for his private office
Labour has made great play of its new policy of declaring all donations of more than £5,000 to the party, and has challenged the Tories to come clean on their sources of funding.
Cherie Blair, wife of Tony,
adressing the Jewish National Fund
"Supporting Israel for Life"