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Francis_maude_1Michael_brownFrancis Maude, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, has had a noteworthy written answer:

"To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission with reference to the answer of 4 March 2008, Official Report, column 2242W, on Liberal Democrats: finance, what the (a) status and (b) timetable is of the Electoral Commission’s investigation into the permissibility of the donations by Mr. Michael Brown to the Liberal Democrat Party. [241769]

Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that following the recent conclusion of criminal proceedings against Mr. Michael Brown, it has now resumed its investigation into the permissibility of donations made to the Liberal Democrat Party by Mr. Brown in 2005.

The Commission further informs me that it will now aim to conclude the investigation as quickly as possible, but that its priority must be to ensure that the process is fair and thorough."

This is an episode that the Liberal Democrats would doubtless rather forget. Mr Brown, who donated £2.4 million to the Liberal Democrats, was recently found guilty of fraud on massive scale – stealing £36 million from clients, one of whom was the former Manchester United chairman Martin Edwards. Brown is currently a fugitive, and was tried in his absence.

On a more prosaic matter, geeks should note that Sir Peter Viggers is a rare thing – a Conservative MP responsible for answering written parliamentary questions.

2 comments for: Electoral Commission reopens investigation into Lib Dem donation

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