The businessman at the centre of the government’s donations scandal says that he secretly donated to the Equality Secretary, Harriet Harman’s campaign to become Deputy Leader of the Labour party to avoid accusations of being part of a “Jewish conspiracy.”
Batchelor, David Abrahams told the Jewish Chronicle that blame for the scandal where he donated £663,975 to Labour through proxies lies with Jon Mendelsohn, Gordon Brown’s fundraiser.
The property developer, who owns a seven-foot pink statue of Elvis, told the newspaper: “Mendelsohn was a fool and politically naïve to slag me off because he didn’t want me in Labour Friends of Israel. I was the treasurer and I had been a member for some years. When he became chairman, he thought he might have opposition.
“He tried to alienate me from my own organisation that I had helped to build up. He slagged me off over it and that’s why I released the letter. If the government starts hammering me, then it might take one or two dirty turns there as well.”
Mr Abrahams said that the press coverage of the scandal has contained: “character assassination, conjecture and speculation. The Daily Telegraph was saying that the money was not mine and that it came from Israel. That was patently untrue. My accountant has recently done my books and it was all there. The money was earned legitimately through hard work and it was totally wrong to say that it came from Israel.
“Some of the things written about me have been terrible. Now they are saying there was a Jewish conspiracy, with Lord Levy, Jon Mendelsohn and me, and that is ridiculous.
“The real reason I wanted to remain anonymous was that I didn’t want Jewish money and the Labour Party being put together because this is what I feared would happen. People would say there’s a Jewish conspiracy. I didn’t come into Labour just to give them money. I give money to many good causes, to Jewish charities, not just to Labour.”
Over four years, Mr Abrahams used four associates to donate money to Labour and to the campaign of Ms Harman who has responsibilities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) issues in cabinet.
Ms Harman won the Labour deputy leadership in June and was made Secretary of State for Equality, chair of the Labour party and Leader of the House.
“I don’t think there’s any question of me having broken either the letter or the spirit of the law,” she said in relation to the donation to her campaign.
Giving money under someone else’s name is unlawful.