Should UK 'cash for honours' case be reopened?
by Nigel Farage
The corruption allegations facing the Metropolitan Police in London could mean the 'cash for honours' investigation was not handled properly
Every time one turns on the television or the radio - there is a new name facing investigation, resigning or helping police with their inquiries. But while Westminster are busy naval gazing, using the downfall of the News of the World and News International to gain more popularity in the other publications remaining - the rest of the world just want to know that the baddies will get locked up and the police who bodged it up will get dealt with.
Because we know that MPs must be taking a huge amount of satisfaction in making journalists feel like the bad guys after the years of investigation into their expenses, their private lives and their U-turns. But there is the business of government, which they should be concentrating on, too. Like the public sector spending and the reforms we were promised.
And among all of this is the man, who led the initial investigation which stated that phone hacking was not widespread. The man, who faces allegations that he lied over communications with phone companies and who thought it would be a jolly good idea to employ as his public relations man the former deputy editor of the News of the World.
But what of that other infamous investigation led by John Yates of the yard? The cash for honours investigation, as it was dubbed by the media, was launched by the Metropolitan Police due to the rejection of several nominations for life peerages - after it was discovered that some of them had provided loans to the Labour Party.
Loans made on commercial terms, at between 1 per cent and 3 per cent above the banking base rate, as was the case here - are not subject to reporting requirements to the Electoral Commission. The Sunday Times reported that shortly before being offered a peerage, Dr Chai Patel was told to change his donation of £10,000 to a loan. This also meant that it didn't have to be reported to the commission.
Despite 136 people being interviewed by Yates and his team, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that it would bring no charges. It is my belief that given the clear failure to conduct a full and proper investigation, there should be a re-opening of the cash for honours investigation. Since those people benefiting from a peerage and those involved in the process either hold legislative positions, or previously did, it is too important to our democratic process to leave in doubt.
My colleague Lord Pearson has written to the government asking if they will be looking into this case. We await the reply, but I suspect that given the embarrassment it could cause - our queries will not result in the investigation I think that we need.
Nigel Farage MEP is leader of the UK Independence Party
Well said Nigel. When you look at some of the dubious appointments to the other place, I still to this day believe that the New Labour leadership has a case to answer in court - they completely devalued the honours system.
Sophie Davis - London
Very well said. The stench of Labour's hypocrisy on this issue and the "hacking" brouhaha has been truly sickening.
I am unable to think of any aspect of public life that Labour has not devalued.
Albert Hall - Kettering
"Navel gazing", "naval gazing" involves looking at warships and you won't find many now.
Mr Ed - Leicestershire
Nige. You spell it "navel" rather than "naval" when it means you're looking at your belly button.
Robin - London
If the letters NI are replaced by EU, the conundrum every UKIP members faces is clear. Why are our rulers so keen on the EU?
Secuity after the electorate vote you out as an MP. A life of luxury, travel, easy pickings and a golden retirement pension. Even better than NI was offering.
eric blackman - Axminster Devon
What about the Met's refusal to investigate the crimes of the Heath government, leading up to the passing of the European Communities Act of1972?
The whole EU Project was illegal under English constitutional law, from start to finish. But the political establishment is blocking every effort to bring them to court. When will we have a commissioner, who has the courage to do his duty and face down those involved?
Graham Shevill - Uckfield, East Sussex
It's a viper nest.
Fay - Hertfordshire