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I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.

Good to see Osborne getting a full statement out explaining the details. Very good indeed. Lets hope he learns from this to watch who he hangs around with.

I believe Osborne but I don't like the company he keeps.

Well, well, well.....

This has got a whole lot more interesting.

Mandy is very rusty I feel...

I wonder if his pet BBC attack dogs have the stomach for it.

"This statement constitutes a full and detailed explanation of Mr Osborne and Mr Feldman’s dealings with Mr Deripaska. We would now urge Lord Mandelson to provide the same."

Fifteen All.

Mandelson to Serve.

(the ball quite literally being in his court)

Osborne is toast - we don't need him.

Time for Mr Redwood to step in - and about time too

I think this is a personal vendetta being played out by Mr Rothschild and Lord Mandelson, ably assisted by Robert Peston, who is very keen to deflect the attention re his scoops and insider trading scandals.

Osborne is intelligent and astute enough not to engage in loose talk let alone jeopardise his position nor for that matter compromise the party. I also strongly feel that Osborne is an honest and sincere person who would try and obfuscate the truth.

This statment from George Osborne seems perefectly reasonable, how long can Mandy keep quiet?

Well this means that I needn't watch the News tonight because it will be obsessed with the only personality-based trivia around right now. Just look at the Beeb's website! Yuk! Alastair Campbell is orchestrating this I expect.

Give it a rest for heaven's sake please

"Lord" Mandy weaving his magic i see, which is exactly why Broon brought him back.

Pity its so obvious its painful!

Labour OUT!

Tick Tock...

What a load of tosh! I don't think I've ever heard such a load of old balderdash whipped up into an attemnpt to create a scandal. Is there actually any real substance to this affair or is it just a desperate attempt to change the news agenda?

I have to say, Nick Robinson's remarks on Radio 4's World At One were particularly hasty, and I thought veered towards hysteria, almost party political sniping. Having previously had a good opinion of Mr Robinson's general approach to political coverage, I was very dissapointed.

Graham Prentice may be a real person but is not a name I recognise. I suspect some Labourites may be visiting us today to create mischief. I apologise to Mr Prentice if he is real.

It is obviously payback for the perception that Osborne leaked what Mandy said.

My concern has always been that Osborne is not 100% focused on his shadow chancelllor job. These summer wanderings confirm that view that he sees himself as a "player" rather than as a chancellor.

It seems Robert Pestons criticism of Osborne now is that he discussed the possibility of a party donation with Nathaniel Rothschild for more than a millisecond.

Rothschild is behaving like a 5 year old with an inflated sense of self-importance. Someone please tell him to belt up.

This is all very Agatha Christie.

Alls we are missing is a murder and a butler!

Given that we are talking Russian oligarchs John a murder/ poisoning might not be far behind.

Exactly Iain. This is Mandelson's poisonous work and the BBC have been complicit.

He is shadow chancellor because he and a clique of his friends now control the Conservative Party. Well done dumb members!

I hate the idea of rich public schoolboys playing with Russians and Mandelson on yachts for their summer holidays. The donation is the least of all this for me.

I think the Tory MP who texted Iain Martin, as mentioned in his 'Who will replace Osborne' article sums it up nicely:

"PS A Tory MP texts me to say: "Oh dear, oh dear, George. Three lessons. 1) Never mess with the Dark Lord. 2) Really rich people live by different rules from the rest of us and 3) Avoid Russians with large yachts."

Osborne won't lose his job but he's lost my respect today.
He keeps seedy company.

Mr Osbourne has kept his head while all around him (ie The Press) lose theirs!He was described as "flustered"- what nonsense.He was quite calm.

My oppinion of osbourne is much higher now than it was before...

My first thought (following a pretty poor showing recently) was 'good excuse to get him to stand down' -- but he handled this whole thing really well.

Hang in there ozzie - watch mandy resign again (along with his two great mates at the BBC)

Flustered...a state of agitation, confusion, or excitement? No, he wasn't any of those. He's just too stupid to think of the consequences of his actions. He's not worth it!

And remember, nor did Gidders run out from any of this delightful, entirely undeclared ligging and phone up hacks to tell then chapter and verse about what Mandy said to him in 'private' conversation. For George is an honest man.

George Osborne has remained calm and collected in the face of great hostility.

In any case, the idea that he ought not only to be replaced, but replaced by REDWOOD of all people, is thoroughly risible!

"The next day - August 24 - Mr Osborne, who had been staying in a rented house but was now staying at the Rothschild villa with his family, mentioned to Mr Rothschild that Andrew Feldman – who Mr Rothschild had met once before - was holidaying half an hour away with his family and friends."

Why did Osborne fail to declare this hospitality in the House Commons register of members' interests? He declared the visit to Davos.


Peston and Robinson have both ended up looking like idiots, running a non-story about a non-donation at the behest of a hedge-fund millionaire with a chip on his shoulder.

Andrew Gilligan had more substantiation for his "sexed-up dossier" than they do for this.

Eurgh... what a mess, lets see how this plays out. Mandelson no doubt is going to be trying his hardest to have as many of these spats as possible, it takes the heat of Brown and embroils the party in claims and counter claims while drowning out an message we want to get to the electorate. Time to get Steve Hilton back from the US

So this explains why George said nothing about the financial crises last week. I've always said you can't really trust these public schoolboys- they mix with some rather nasty people. He's getting as bad as his predecessor but one in Tatton.

Time for either Ken Clarke or John Redwood to take the Shadow Finance Portfolio.

You know, it is really SAD that Peston and Robinson can be so gullible as to be sent off like faithful bloodhounds following a trail laid for them by Campbell and Mandelson, rather than reporting real news.

Let's see - the economics editor might want to report the CPS paper released today highlighting the real state of UK Government debt at something like 150% of GDP when all pension, PFI, Notwork Rail, Northern Wreck etc etc liabilities are brought on-balance sheet?

The political editor might want to report how Harperson is guilotining debate on pro-choice amendments to the HFE Bill and not calling those amendments to the vote? Or, the rebellion brewing over the un-compensated 10p tax losers or the non-implimentation of family friendly flexible working?

It really is just very, very, poor journalism.

I've just seen the details of how ALL these Russian oligarchs have lost all their money. This one the Osborne didn't discuss money with has lost $ 22 billion ( about £13 billion). He couldn't afford a donation anyway!

The other one who owns Chelsea has lost nearly as much! They're all begging money off Putin

Laugh fit to bust!

@ Sandy Jamieson

Neil Hamilton was cleared of receiving money from Al Fayed by two independent investigations. You can use your smear as a suppository.

Osborne should explain why he did not declare his holiday hospitality from the Rothschilds. Osborne registered Lady Serena Rothschild's donation to fund his office on 15th May 2008. He cannot argue that his hospitality in August was not business related.

The above statement is far more categoric on the subject than the impression given by Mr Osborne on the BBC news this evening. Admittedly it was Nick Robinson putting the boot in but the fact remains that an adverse impression will have been given to the wider public, because Mr O's responses were very carefully worded, and they will not get to read the above detailed statement.

A libel/slander writ would be a more pointed rebuttal of the accusations.

I believe Leyland Daf is wholly owned by Paccar Inc. of Seattle.

Ken, George Osborne is no more willingly going to go into court than Dave is going to make Redwood shadow Chancellor. Whether he finds himself being taken to court is another matter entirely.

Osborne and Mandelson.
Two sides of the same shitty political coin.
Could the gulf between the political elite and the rest of us possibly get any bigger?


"George Osborne was present during discussions over a Russian billionaire giving a £50,000 donation to the Conservative Party, it was confirmed.

The shadow chancellor was involved in a conversation with banking heir Nathaniel Rothschild over the possibility that Oleg Deripaska could give money, according to a statement issued by the Tories.

The party's fundraiser Andrew Feldman raised the prospect that gifts could be given through "legitimate UK trading companies" during the meeting in Corfu in August....

The fundraiser later suggested that the oligarch could "channel" the money through one of his British firms, according to Mr Rothschild's account.

It is illegal for parties to accept donations from individuals who are not on the electoral roll - either directly or through "proxies"."

Now we know why Milly Molly Mandy was brought back, as was that other twerp! With the willing help of the BEEBle they are sure to worry at it for as long as possible, especially as they want to try and deflect away from the other twerp Peston!

This is rediculous. George Osborne went on a Russian billionaire's yacht, he asked Osborne if he wanted money, and Osborne said 'no'. The end. Why is this non-story taking up so much airtime? I was asked if I wanted life insurance the other day; this is about the same scale as the Osborne story.

I'm just hoping that Osborne's mobile phone has Peter Carter-Ruck and Partners [libel and defamation lawyers of some repute] set on speed-dial.

Peston is a pleb, and is still a laughing stock over the HBOS affair. Robinson isn't much better - on his blog earlier, he posted:

"On the banking crisis, he (Cameron) can't say "I told you so" because he didn't."

Clearly, Mr Robinson hasn't read what Dave said in March:

“In short, liquidity risk was all but ignored, credit risk was delegated, and market risk was backward looking. And we now know that not only did the regulators not know, but too often the banks themselves didn’t know, the full extent of the risks they were subjected to. But let me say again, any reforms at an international level will need care to ensure that in tackling the past problems they do not create the problems of the future. At the same time, we must all recognise that crises are inevitable, so a prudent Government, as we will be, that is committed tol be, must improve our response to these crises when they appear."

Robinson also said:

"He can't say "we had a better answer" because he didn't propose one and he's given his backing to the Brown plan"

Yes he did, in the same speech in March:

'As well as the reforms we have outlined for the UK financial system, we need reforms at a global level too. So let me suggest one important reform that needs to take place in light of the recent crisis in world banking.'

Mr Robinson needs to take off his very unstylish, New Labour tinted glasses.

'Could the gulf between the political elite and the rest of us possibly get any bigger?'

Indeed. Russian oligarchs, Rothschilds, EU Trade Commissioner and future Chancellor get jiggy with it on the canapés and Bollinger and we are supposed to worry about the detail and the devil therein?

This is contempt. Pure contempt for those that suffer the consequences of the machinations of hyper-billionaires playing with the little boy lost and the irredeemably aspirational tosspotter. Our boy and Mandy in that order.

Then again, it would be nice to be a fly on the turd and watch 007 Darling Darling try and hold his own on Scaramangski's yacht. He can do the Roger Moore eyebrows but his black tie would be clip-on and his undercrackers rather skiddy.

Interesting stuff from the BBC.

First they make a big anti-Tory deal over the Tories turning down a doubtful donation.

Second they go out of their way to misrepresent Cameron of the bank problem, although to be fair to Robinson he is probably being incompetent rather than baised. Most BBC interviewers usually come across as very ingnorant of their subject.

The letter begins with berating The Times:

Sir, Since your paper… has made much out of what may or may not have happened at a private gathering of my friends this summer in Corfu.

…but it then ends with this sentence:

“I also think it ill behoves all political parties to try and make capital at the expense of another in such circumstances...”


Clearly, the start of the letter is the opener for the narrative which then denounces Osborne as ‘worse than Mandy’, however the closing remark says ‘George has blabbed about Mandy slagging off Brown, at my party, which is a very nasty thing to do, so much so, I’m going to spill the beans on George... Umm, don’t make political capital out of Mandy, or I’ll cancel it out, by making political capital, for um. Well you get the idea.

What a stupidly constructed narrative.

Off course, this has Mandleson all over it, but Rothschild has dented his own reputation severely – goodness knows how he has allowed himself to be manipulated into writing such a badly expressed letter, to the friggin Times for Christ sake!!! Either that or he is thick. Either way, I won’t be calling at Klosters this Christmas.

Ps, Nathaniel says he’s standing by ‘every word’, except that the original letter has been removed from the Times website and ‘updated’, and Guido hears there is a third letter?

Aren't we all glad Mandleson is back in town flexing his version of political muscle.

I agree with Keir, the press have obviously had complaints about too much coverage on the US Election, and are trying to glamourise a UK story.

The press usually need everything spelled out to them, I remember when George Osborne was discussing the idea about taxing the super strength ciders to subsidise the low alcohol beers, the reporter managed to miss the point when she asked him "but won't that mean young people who are quite sensitive to price will buy the low alcohol beers".

This will hopefully blow over when the media manage to catch up to the rest of us.

Osborne will have to sue or resign. The hysterical reporting is damaging the party. I believe his statement but good God what a rancid world it all reveals. Palling about with hyper-billionaire oligarchs, hopping from a hedge fund mate's villa to another to some yacht.. It fails the "would I want to know this person" test: no, I wouldn't. "Mandelson was there too"- and? What on earth was he thinking? I'd hoped the ruling elite had given up on the grouse moors.

The political success Osborne had was with the ultras in the party. There are no shortage of other people who could do so. His economic campaign in the last few weeks has been rubbish. DC should get rid of him before he drags the whole party down.

Why can't you all leave it alone. It's a non-story got up by Labour spinners and probably a hiney-trap set by Mandelson .

As I have already told everyone (1848) ALL these Russian oligarchs are bust, kaput skint. This one in particular lost $22,000,000,000. He couldn't afford to buy Osborne a beer now! .

Leave it alone and just laugh at that come-uppance. People who get interested in this kind oif thing watch Big Brother and the like.

What price Chelsea now?
(nb today's Telegraph Business News)

I don't care for George Osborne's choice of holiday company but there is one big, big lesson from all this: Mandelson is back and playing his old tricks and the media are dancing to his tune. How high would you like us to jump, your Lordship?

This has mandy and campbell all over it...the timing of this stinks to high heaven ...and talk about a non-story. The conservative party followed the rules to the letter and said no to a masked donation from a russian. Thanks for letting us all know, can I have the life back I just wasted listening to this rubbish please?

The clarity of the statement above is absolute. Nothing wrong was done, this is a complete non-story.

The funny part is...Cameron gets slammed for 'playing politics' by DOING HIS JOB and holding the government to account on their handling of the economy....but this, obviously bottom of the barrel, politics gets pasted all over the evening news like something illegal has occured...I mean come on!

Enough pandering to these kinds of tactics. The electorate don't care about party funding, especially when NOTHING HAS HAPPENED....they care about whether they will have a job next year. Let's move past this quickly and not get caught up in this kind of nonsense...there are more important things to worry about.

Redwood is, perhaps unfairly, tainted. Cameron knows this and would never promote him to Shadow Chancellor. Suggestions that he should are naive and not for the good of the Conservative Party.

Mandy made a telling comment on AM last Sunday: he said that the "smears" against him were just the Tory press doing the Conservative Party's work for them. Clearly Mandy sees smearing as party work. His motives in this smear campaign are easy to see: the day to day business of revenge. Rothschild's are less clear, but I suspect a) self-interest and b) he's off the Christmas card list.

As for the Osborne's judgement... it's absurd to suggest that he shouldn’t mix with foreign political and economic figures. Mr Deripaska is already an important investor in Britain and more of his billions would be very welcome – especially right now. George Osborne would be failing in his duty if he did not foster good relations with people like Mr Deripaska.

Has there ever been so much grief over a non-donation before?

This whole thing looks like a non-story got up by Mandelson et al to deflect DC's attack on Brown tomorrow at PMQs.

Can we get back to a proper discussion about the country's financial crisis.

You're probably right, Tim, but you have to question whether this would have emerged at all had Osborne not leaked his private conversations about Brown. Osborne leaked those conversations for short-term gain - a massive political misjudgement in view of the wall-to-wall damaging coverage we've seen today and which may well remain in the public consciousness.

Tim @2041 "Mandelson is back and playing his old tricks and the media are dancing to his tune"

Yes aren't you all?

Re dancing to Mandy's tune, and similar such weak-minded pap: how exactly did Mandelson persuade the shadow chancellor to go out of his way to invite the chief executive of the party to come and meet a Russian touting funds? Really, the hysteria some people spout about Mandelson sometimes stretches credulity just a bit too much.

Some pretty amazing comments on this and the previous few threads. No one should expect better from the likes of ACT but for genuine Conservatives I suggest you all calm down. In the very unlikely event that Osborne is guilty of anything he should be sacked but I really do think that given the vehemence of the denials that there really isn't a story here. I hope all Conservative MPs will have learned to steer well clear of scum like Mandelson and behave with decency at all times.

Sounds like Mandleson has decided to go nuclear early as a warning to others wanting to play these games.

What a freak. Speaks volumes for Blair - Guido rumour is that Blair called his bedazzled admirer Nat to encourage him to send the letter. George might be guilty of disclosing the theme of a conversation at a party, but he's well and truly embroiled in a catty super-bitch game now.

ps, since we are on the subject, there was an untrue rumour of old going round that Gordon Brown was gay. Brown was upset and bemused 'someones going round saying I'm gay, I'm not.'

The basis of this was a story with no principle that someone walked in on Gordon and +Mandleson+ in a clinch.

"I love you Gordon, but I can destroy you."

He is poison.

Rave away. Mind you, Mandelson, the man your foam-flecked rage bounces off, is Gidder's ideal luncheon companion. But that of course tells you nothing about Osborne. Much like his risible performance in front of the press earlier told you nothing. Well, it told you nothing honest at any rate.

Tony Blair lied to the HoC about a £1 million donation that changed government policy. Peter Mandelson stays, gratis, on the boat of a man whose business interests he can greatly assist in his enormously powerful position. He has previously made decisions that benefitted this individual.

George Osborne has a cup of tea on a boat. Someone raises the possibility of maybe possibly being able to give the Conservatives £50,000. George says "Nah". I'm glad the press have their priorities right.

Malcolm, ACT rubbishes everything I do and everything the Tory leadership does. That's pretty much all you need to know about him.

'Rubbishes everything I do' - get a grip Tim. Believe me, I find you significantly less interesting than you find yourself. And feel free to twitter that.

Your, or for that matter, my ego to one side: Nat Rothschild's rebuttal rips apart Osborne's statement. Given your much more, uh, constructive attitude towards 'everything the Tory leadership does', you'd be serving the Party better paying some attention to that rather than hissing at me.

I have a real struggle in the North East deflecting attacks that our Party is ruled by an elite circle that has no concept of real life.."toffs and millionaires, no better than the other lot.."I combat this by saying that we are a broad church and there are a wide variety of people from different backgrounds involved at all levels of the party. Including people like me - who don't have two beans to rub together..I tell people wealth and upbringing are not an indication of your ability. Good and bad in all...This particular mess is not going to make the case any easier to make. Mega rich Russians, Mandelson, old school mates stabbing you in the back..And this at a time when people are losing jobs, income, homes and hopes. It really makes my blood boil!!!!As I have said before - you struggle to get a hearing and some people are making it ten times harder!!!

ACT: For someone uninterested in what I/ ConHome writes you spend A LOT of time here!

Your blanket negativity is very unpersuasive.

This is nothing more than a classic Labour smear op and some people on this site seem to be falling for it.

Where is the scandal? Osborne meets someone and has a cup of tea with them?

Where is the money?

It would appear though that the more critical members of our party are using this as an excuse to launch a half baked idea to replace Osborne as shadow chancellor.

What's the betting Brown uses a post from here at tomorrow's PMQs?

Oh Tim, but how characteristically modest you're being. ConHome has long since stopped being simply about little old you. I suspect were it just all Tim, all the time, you're right, folk would spend A LOT less time here. And no doubt my 'blanket negativity is very unpersuasive', but then again: who am I trying to persuade?

Osborne has handled it reasonably well. He could have silenced the BBC even sooner by saying that Leyland Daf is a substantial UK company controlled by Deripaska, and if Mr Deripaska wanted to make a payment from that company there would be nothing illegal about it, and Messrs Peston and Robonson would do well to consult with their lawyers before making such partisan smears.

ACT, you are very boring.

Agreeing with Tim 100%, and wondering why the BBC Economics Editor is being given such free rein to develop a story when there's clearly a conflict of remit and/or interests for him in the story. Clearly this is a political story, irrespective of GO being Shadow Chancellor. Isn't it?

The Dark Lord was brought back just for this stuff, and we need to keep the public informed every time we can.

This is excellent. Perhaps if we appointed ACT to speak on this issue for GO, everybody would grow bored enough to move on. I know I get a good hearty yawn out of ACT every time.

I would second that Mark Fulford. You don't persuade anyone about anything ACT, so why don't you go somewhere where you might find yourself appreciated, if you can find anywhere.

Act your're a TACky Cat, and a sCArdy CAT too, since you haven't the guts to sign you're own name!

This should make us all determined to get Labour out and, once in power, reform the BBC. Talk about Labour and their friends at the BEEB making a mountain out of a molehill!Instead of slagging each other off on here, contact your local Conservative office in the morning to help with mundane tasks (delivering leaflets, canvassing voters etc). We won't win the election talking to each other of here. Get out there and do the work!

Tim - PLEASE Stop this thread - it's sheer dumbed-down gossip for the Star or one of the other tabloids - utterly trivial - dancing to spin doctors' tunes .

To go on like this is destroying a good blog ;

Just laugh your head off that Deriwotsit has lost his money TWENTY TWO Billion of it!.

AND -Psst ! Wanna buy Chelsea ? Going cheap!

Don't worry George. This'll soon blow over.

My list of people I really, really don't like is now:
- Gordon Brown
- Peter Mandelson
- Alistair Campbell
- Nat Rothschild.

And to think that I used to like bankers...

The yaugt was fabuluous, stupendous.

I spy...

The next Solihull.

Well, I have been meaning to get around to reading Lord Ashcrofts "Dirty Politics, Dirty Times".
I am off to try and get a copy.

Posted by: Tanuki | October 21, 2008 at 19:37

I'm just hoping that Osborne's mobile phone has Peter Carter-Ruck and Partners [libel and defamation lawyers of some repute] set on speed-dial.

It would have to be. He's not very good with numbers.

I am not in this magic Westminster Village but this I tell you, that Mr Lilley on Newsnight to do the Tory rebuttal was not up to the task.
The IMPRESSION that was left was that Osborne dun something but we just can't prove it. I don't think that was the fact, but when you go elctoral, inpressions count - you have to overcome them. Labour scored here. make no mistake.
Which leads to who is fighting the Tory corner on stratgey and tactics? They need to do a thorough review of what they are at.
If you are hoping that election 2010, Mandy will screw up again, reasonable assumption but not definite. Don't forget the difference.

Bloody hell, as the evenings worn on the - hic - spelling has become class.

My favourite is 'Yaught' by Gloy Plopwell at 00:18 - buuuurp - Wilson! Where is that man WILSON!... oh there you are, don't creep up on me like that.

hic, more brandy, and pour a decent meashure thish time.

Too all those who express shock/horror at Osbourne's' choice of holiday companions. Politics shares a pigsty with high finance. If one works in a pigsty, one gets covered in pig manure. Fact of Life.
Now what interests me is the fact that this whole business is released when Tony/Bernie is nailed good and proper over the F1 tobacco advertising scandal. The Press, having the intelligence of Red Setters without the redeeming qualities, are up and running after a false scent while Mandy and Allie are laughing their socks off. Even Guido buys it, and he's quite intelligent for a Red Setter.
Regular contributors to ConHome are well aware of ACTs' somewhat individualistic world view. Though at times tiresome, he does fulfil the necessary function of the slave in the chariot, and is approaching the status of "national treasure". Why not start a charity for the extra care he will shortly need as an act of humanity?

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