Tony Blair is ‘absolutely proud’ of the string of businessmen who have bunged money into New Labour’s coffers. Millions of people who have voted Labour will instead be sickened at Blair’s courting of the rich. Businessmen do not give money for nothing. They expect New Labour to bow to their interests.
‘Major donors need to feel that they are at the centre of things,’ admits Amanda Delew, one of Labour’s key fundraisers. One donor has certainly put himself at the centre of things-property developer Robert Bourne is head of the Legacy consortium which is favourite to buy the Millennium Dome. Bourne has donated £100,000 to New Labour and hosted a lavish birthday party in October 1999 for Peter Mandelson, former Dome minister and now Northern Ireland secretary.
Bourne is offering £125 million for the Dome, whose structure and surroundings are worth an estimated £600 million. Among the other millionaires buying influence with New Labour are:
The Mirror reported on Monday that even more rich businessmen are lined up to fund New Labour. It says that among them is a former ally of Margaret Thatcher. The Mirror says a friend of the new donor describes him as someone who ‘has always been thought of as a Thatcherite Tory.’
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