Lord Levy: how I sur­vived

The Jewish Chronicle - - Front Page - BY JENNI FRAZER

LORD LEVY, the man at the heart of the cash-for-peer­ages in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and who is said to have saved Tony Blair from be­ing in hock to the trades union move­ment, fi­nally told his story this week, af­ter nearly two years of si­lence.

In A Ques­tion of Hon­our: Inside New Labour and the True Story of the Cash for Peer­ages Scan­dal, Lord Levy re­vealed his hurt and pain at be­ing “left to hang out to dry” by the Down­ing Street es­tab­lish­ment when the Metropoli­tan Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan in 2006. But he also told the JC this week of his “sad­ness” at the way some mem­bers of the An­glo-Jewish com­mu­nity “could not con­tain their envy and glee” dur­ing his or­deal, in which he was ar­rested three times be­fore the po­lice de­cided he had no case to an­swer.

In a wide-rang­ing in­ter­view, Lord Levy, for­merly the Labour Party’s chief fundraiser and then for eight years Prime Min­is­ter Tony Blair’s per­sonal en­voy to the Mid­dle East, spoke with emo­tion about those who sup­ported him and his fam­ily dur­ing the po­lice in­quiry, in which it was claimed — wrongly — that the peer had of­fered hon­ours to peo­ple whom he ap­proached for funds for the Labour Party.

“My friends,” he said, “be­haved in the most fan­tas­tic way. No one could ask for more.” But un­der­lin­ing the hard truth be­hind last week’s JC col­umn by Ge­of­frey Al­der­man, in which he de­scribes “some Jews of my ac­quain­tance vis­i­bly gloat­ing” af­ter the peer’s first ar­rest, Lord Levy ac­knowl­edged that “I sup­pose I was not shocked — but this did not di­lute the hurt.”

Nev­er­the­less, Lord Levy was in­sis­tent that an­tisemitism did not play a part in the de­ci­sion to ar­rest him, and de­scribed in his book, writ­ten with the help of for­mer JC ed­i­tor Ned Temko, how he had re­mon­strated with Mill Hill rabbi Yitzchak Scho­chet for sug­gest­ing it. He also dis­closed some of the back­ground to his years as Tony Blair’s Mid­dle East en­voy and de­clared that far from it be­ing a dis­ad­van­tage to be a Jew in the Arab world, it was of­ten a pos­i­tive bonus.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.