Blair and his aides face new police quiz on 'cash for honours' scandal.
Stephen Wright and Kirsty Walker
Daily Mail, Monday, January 22,
TONY BLAIR and his inner circle of
advisers face fresh questioning by detectives over the cash for honours
affair, it emerged last night.
Insiders believe it is 'highly likely'
that the Prime Minister, his chief of staff Jonathan Powell and
director of political relations John McTernan will need to be
re-interviewed following the dawn arrest of his top aide Ruth Turner on
Officers wish to question them about
new evidence which has emerged since they were first interviewed,
according to prosecution sources.
It is also believed that Labour's chief
fundraiser, Lord Levy, will be arrested for a third time before a file
is sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.
detectives are understood to have
uncovered fresh evidence after hacking into Downing Street computers
following a tip-off from a No 10 mole.
It came as a senior Cabinet Minister
admitted that the affair was 'very, very serious' and revealed that
insiders now fear that charges will be laid by police.
The unnamed minister told the Mail:
'This is very serious. I don't think
anyone expects it will end without criminal charges being brought. It
will get worse before it gets better. There is no doubt that the whole
affair has been deeply damaging for the Labour Party and
WE ARE WORRIED '
After a weekend which saw a war of
words between LABOUR and the POLICE
-ministers began to rein in their
attacks after being accused of interfering in the INQUIRY.
David Blunkett who was among those to
[ so-called] 'heavy-handed' tactics
acknowledged it was time for ministers to 'cool it' as Lord Falconer
said politicians should 'stay out of it'.
Chief Superintendent Simon Humphrey
chairman of the Met branch of the police Superintendent's
Association said it was
POLITICIANS were interfering in
Detectives, who are investigating
claims that Labour 'sold' peerages to wealthy businessmen in return for
cash are understood to have uncovered fresh evidence from computers.
A Downing Street mole is reported to
have revealed that crucial emails between businessmen and officials were
buried on No 10 computers. The information was a key factor in the
decision to arrest Miss Turner at 6.30am on suspicion of
PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE.
Scotland Yard became suspicious that
potentially vital information was being withheld after twice asking for
emails, letters and other material related to the award of peerages to
be handed over, but only receiving a 'very slim' file.
Computer experts were brought in to
track down the highly-sensitive correspondence.
Downing Street insist police have been
granted 'full access' al all times. Everyone interviewed has firmly
denied any wrongdoing and nobody has been charged.
Meanwhile, police officers have
accused Downing Street of a smear campaign against them.
David Blunkett, Tessa Jewell and the
film-maker and labour peer Lord Puttnam have all claimed that the police
actions in arresting Miss Turn were unnecessary and 'theatrical'. Mr
'UNFORTUNATELY, it is not the FIRST
TIME in this ten-month investigation that POLITICIANS have tried to
influence the INVESTIGATION'
'The time has come for Downing
Street and anonymous Labour spin doctors to keep quiet and let the
police get on with their jobs. I am concerned that Downing Street is
conducting a smear campaign to undermine Assistant Commissioner John
Yates and his team.
'I have known John Yates for
many years .For him to be challenged by politicians in privileged
positions is scandalous.
Len Duvall, the chairman of the
Metropolitan Police Authority added that politicians should 'shut up'
and stop whinging and whining'. He pointed out that Miss Jowell's
husband David Mills is facing a long-running police inquiry into
allegations of bribery in Italy.
Mr Duvall said:
'Others might say that Tessa Jowell
ought to be very careful. Talk about glass houses and all the rest of
Officers have not ruled out the
possibility of re-interviewing the Prime Minister under caution - or
further arrests -as the probe enters its final stages.
A source linked to the INQUIRY said:
'There were operational reasons for
arresting Ruth Turner at home early in the morning. Officers wanted to
take her by surprise and have an opportunity to search her home.
Clearly it will be difficult to take other suspects by surprise as a
result of her arrest -so anyone arrested in the coming weeks is likely
to be given advance notice.'
Mr Blunkett said he was astonished' at
some of the police reaction and admitted:
'I think it's time that we all cooled
He told ITV's Sunday Edition 'Senior
Officers knew perfectly well what kind of reaction was likely to occur
by doing it this way.'
[Well we hope it frightened the living
daylights out of the arrogant culprits in 10 Downing Street.. It must be
the first time in almost ten years that they find themselves without a
paddle to steer the police away on a fool's errand while their shredding
machines were working overtime. At long last we have the
satisfaction of seeing JUSTICE take it course in the one building in the
land which considered itself above the
RULE OF LAW.]
Whitehall insiders said No10 is
'petrified' that Mr Powell -who has already been questioned -will be the
next to be arrested.
In a further sign of panic within
Labour, the Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer who is a close friend (and
once a flatmate) of Mr Blair's warned colleagues to stop discussing the
case in public.
'I think we should just stay out of
-he told BBC1's Sunday AM.
The CPS is likely to rule on charges by
[ We hope in this instance that the
good and thorough work of the police will not be ignored and that there
can be no more rewards handed out in order to bury the prosecution case
and that with the country and the world looking on that for once we will
see that there is no hiding place even in the cockpit of the nation for
the transgressors and that they will be in the stir before too long
where they belong. ]
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[Daily Mail-Wednesday, June
MORE THAN HALF of voters believe Britain should
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The poll comes as the Tories launch a last-ditch
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