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Byers. Hoon and Hewitt suspended by Labour Party


11:15 pm - March 22nd 2010

by Unity    


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We’ve just received word that former cabinet ministers Stephen Byers, Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt have been suspended by the Labour Party on the instructions of the Chief Whip, Nick Brown, and General Secretary, Ray Collins, pending an investigation into allegations that they were willing to try and influence policy in return for cash.

The decision follows what we understand was a heated meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party, this evening, at which a number of MPs demanded that strong action should be taken against the three former ministers.

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'Unity' is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He also blogs at Ministry of Truth.
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Reader comments


Blair made all three cabinet ministers with high-profile jobs – which tells us a great deal about the quality of his political judgement, doesn’t it?

If the Labour Party has any sense, it will bury Blair for the election.

I think Blair didn’t generally care about the quality of people he had as ministers. He had his own unelected clique to run government so he could put these useless ciphers wherever he wanted. They asked no questions.

didnt these people suspect a sting? seems like one more way to spite brown.

Is this for the Labour party then? I didn’t like them, but it feels like the end of an era nonetheless.

Great news, I hope they do bloody time.

@ roym;

you’re not suggesting a saucy ploy – The Hoony, the Hewy and the Byers shooting themselves in the foot to damage the leader, like the Buddhists burning themselves in South Vietnam? Because that would be loadsa bollocks. No, the three daft buggers are simply that, nothing more.

“No, the three daft buggers are simply that, nothing more.”

But then how come Blair appointed all three to be cabinet ministers with high-profile jobs when he was PM?

Bob,

Because who else was there? The Labour benches are not exactly overflowing with figures who hadn’t fallen out with Blair and/or Brown and also had talent.

Re: Bob B @ 12.34pm

Because the last thing Blair wanted was to give prominent jobs to people talented enough to oppose him. He had by this point put years of effort into staying one step ahead of Brown, he wasn’t looking to make his life more difficult.

@8

There was and is some very real talent on the Labour backbenches, people like the late Gwyneth Dunwoody and Tony Wright, who served with distinction as chairs of HoC select committees. Sadly, their integrity rather got in the way of their promotion to cabinet rank in Blair’s governments and Dunwoody had to overcome a plot by the Labour whips to remove her from the Transport select committee chair.

We might also consider what circumstances led Betty Boothroyd and Clare Short to resign from the Labour Party.

Btw it was Patricia Hewitt, as health minister, who committed the government to developing a national database of personal medical records at a cost of £12.7 billion. Byers was the minister in the department when Jo Moore, one of his SPADs (special advisers) sent round that email on 9/11 saying that this was a “good time to bury bad news”. And Hoon was the defence minister at the time of the Iraq invasion in March 2003 when Britiah troops were sent out lacking the equipment to protect against use of WMD, supposedly the very reason they had been sent to invade Iraq. Naturally, none of them felt inclined to resign from the Party

Bob,

My point exactly. Both on the right and left of Labour, people with the character and skill to be ministers are excluded (to be vaguely fair, sometimes after having occupied a ministerial post) because they did not get on with Blair/Brown’s messages.

Incidentally, if Jo Moore’s personal actions are the worst criticism Stephen Byers faces, my impression of him as incompotent was perhaps misplaced… Oh yes – apart from being caught whoring his services in a sting!

12. the a&e charge nurse

A new low – or is there more to come?

A new low – or is there more to come?

Yep.

The Tory carpetbaggers.

Incidentally, if Jo Moore’s personal actions are the worst criticism Stephen Byers faces, my impression of him as incompotent was perhaps misplaced… Oh yes – apart from being caught whoring his services in a sting!

Seems to me that Byers admitted attempting “fraud by false representation” (s2 Fraud Act 2006) as “Mr Byers said later he had overstated his case [regarding his influence] and had never lobbied ministers [having claimed he did]”.

According to Jack Straw, Byers, Hoon and Hewitt brought the Labour party and Parliament “into disrepute” and their whip has been withdrawn.

Despite this, Jack Straw says “There is not a shred of evidence, not a single scintilla of evidence, of any impropriety whatsoever.”

I wonder what would be improper? Apparently being dishonest isn’t improper.

15. peter doff

It will be interesting to see how the four MPs are punished with only a month to their retirement.There is sadly no possibility of a meaningful punishment or fine though the public would surely support the suspension of their pension rights.
This lack of discipline will,I fear,lead to violence against those who decide to stand in the coming election with tarnished reputations & the likes of Blears and Jaqui Smith will face more than mere heckling.


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  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Byers. Hoon and Hewitt suspended by Labour Party http://bit.ly/bHTqjF

  2. topsy_top20k

    RT @libcon: Byers. Hoon and Hewitt suspended by Labour Party http://bit.ly/bHTqjF – breaking news

  3. Brian Robinson

    RT @libcon: Byers. Hoon and Hewitt suspended by Labour Party http://bit.ly/bHTqjF

  4. Unity

    RT @libcon: Byers. Hoon and Hewitt suspended by Labour Party http://bit.ly/bHTqjF – breaking news

  5. Tim Ireland

    RT @libcon: Byers. Hoon and Hewitt suspended by Labour Party http://bit.ly/bHTqjF





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