Political

Labour donations: the fifth man

As surely as night follows day, today brings news of yet another expansion of the Labour donors scandal. Step forward George Crawford, the possible unwitting fifth man:

George Crawford, a Newcastle-based lawyer, went to the police amid claims that his name may have been used to illicitly donate money to the party.

He is demanding an investigation after a man of the same name was registered as giving Labour £36,000 in 2004. Mr Crawford believes he may have been used as a secret conduit by Mr Abrahams to donate money to Labour.

The lawyer suspects that the money was given in his name and has now reported the matter to the police as suspected identity theft by someone trying to conceal their donations. Northumbria Police said they would be forwarding the complaint to Scotland Yard.

And finally, in some variation on the bad news for Labour: the former Labour Mayor of Sefton has been jailed for benefit fraud. As ITN reports:

A former Labour Mayor and his wife have been jailed for fraudulently claiming state benefits.

John Walker, formerly the Mayor of Sefton, was jailed for 15 months and his wife Catie was sentenced to eight months, after the pair plotted to swindle almost £37,000 in Disability Living Allowance and Income Support.

The couple, who had used the money to pay for their daughter’s private school fees, denied the charges but were found guilty at the end of a six-week trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Mr Walker, 57, regularly walked unaided from Anfield, the home of Liverpool FC, to a pub in the city centre for after-match drinks and was spotted performing various roles while serving as a Labour councillor and as mayor, without any obvious physical difficulties, a jury heard.

Walker was caught out when fraud inspectors filmed him attending lengthy civic functions and making political speeches.

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