Ex-MP at­tacks Lord Levy’s ‘nau­se­at­ing’ Blair mem­oir

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY SI­MON ROCKER

A FOR­MER LABOUR MP this week launched a scathing at­tack on Lord Levy for pub­lish­ing mem­oirs which re­veal inside de­tails of Tony Blair’s gov­ern­ment. Many of Lord Levy’s tar­gets ap­pear to be Jewish, from Ca­role Caplin to Sir Ron­ald Co­hen.

Eric Moon­man, an ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber of the As­so­ci­a­tion of For­mer Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment, hit out at the for­mer chief Labour fundraiser and Mid­dle East en­voy for spilling the beans.

Ex­tracts from A Ques­tion of Hon­our, due to be pub­lished on May 18, ap­peared in The Mail on Sun­day at the week­end and in­cluded the claim that while Prime Min­is­ter, Mr Blair had told Lord Levy that Gor­don Brown could never de­feat Tory leader David Cameron in his elec­tion.

Mr Moon­man told the JC: “What we know of the man­u­script is nau­se­at­ing and dis­agree­able. It is tan­ta­mount to a breach of private con­ver­sa­tions and con­fi­den­tial­ity with min­is­ters.

“It could well prej­u­dice any fu­ture role for Jews work­ing for or ad­vis­ing those in gov­ern­ment.”

In light of Labour’s cur­rent poll rat­ing be­ing well be­hind the Tories’, he added: “Th­ese rev­e­la­tions could hardly come at a worse time. Labour is on the back foot. The Labour lead­er­ship will not for­give or for­get what has been said.”

Lawrie Nerva, a for­mer lo­cal coun­cil­lor and now trea­surer of the Jewish Labour Move­ment, said that he was “ap­palled” that Lord Levy should have cho­sen the Sun­day be­fore this week’s lo­cal and Lon­don may­oral elec­tions to pub­lish ex­tracts that “could prove dam­ag­ing to Labour”.

He said: “Levy’s reve­la­tion that Tony Blair be­lieved Gor­don Brown ‘could never beat’ David Cameron in a gen­eral elec­tion re­veals a lack of re­spect for both Blair and Brown and a to­tal dis­re­gard of the dam­age to Labour’s stand­ing at a time when all Labour sup­port­ers should be seen to be clos­ing ranks.”

Labour MP Louise Ell­man would not join the crit­i­cism, how­ever, say­ing she had “no knowl­edge of the va­lid­ity” of any of the state­ments in the book, but ob­serv­ing that “the more provoca­tive they are, the more read­ers they get”.

The pub­lished ex­tracts tell of Lord Levy’s or­deal un­der the cash-for-hon­ours in­ves­ti­ga­tion and his re­lief when told that no pros­e­cu­tion would be brought. They also go into his re­la­tion­ship with Tony Blair, a fre­quent vis­i­tor to the ten­nis court and swim­ming pool at the peer’s North Lon­don home, and the Prime Min­is­ter’s dif­fi­cult re­la­tions with his Chan­cel­lor Gor­don Brown.

He re­veals that when Mr Blair asked him to patch up re­la­tions be­tween Mr Brown and an­other key party fig­ure, Peter Man­del­son, Mr Brown ex­claimed: “Peter? He’s been go­ing around telling ev­ery­one that I’m gay.”

Lord Levy ad­mits that he was “up­set and an­gry with Tony” when learn­ing that in the run-up to the 2005 elec­tion the Prime Min­is­ter had turned to ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist Sir Ron­ald Co­hen for help fundrais­ing “be­hind my back”.

He also says that the Prime Min­is­ter “went red” when he warned that Cherie Blair’s friend, Ca­role Caplin, the lifestyle coach, could “be­come an is­sue… for you”.

PHOTO: JOHN RIFKIN

Lord Levy with for­mer PM Blair

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