Thursday, 24 January 2008

Peter Hain: Pushed or a matter of honour?

While eating my lunch I happened to turn on the news in my office - Peter Hain has just resigned as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [no connection with me taking a break]. It seems his deputy leader campaign donations being referred to the Met Police was a step too far.

Nothing was said about his other [minor] role as Secretary of State for Wales.

Update 1: BBC confirms that he has stood down from the Cabinet. Trust me to have watched Channel 4 News.

Miss Wagstaff is wondering if Hain could've saved his reputation if he had made this gesture sooner.

Update 2: Iain Dale's Diary asks "Is Hain's Resignation The First Blogging Scalp?"

Update 3: Guido has his own view on this.


Dotcommentator 24 January 2008 at 12:35  

I've heard that the Electoral Commission decided to refer the matters to the police. Brown said that Hain's fate rested on the outcome of the Electoral Commission and other enquiries. Apparently Brown hasn't really liked Hain since Hain and Roger Berry 'interfered' with Labour economic policy when the two were part of the Tribune Group of MPs.

Anonymous 24 January 2008 at 14:29  

Hanson has to be favourite for the Welsh job. As for DWP, perhps Yvette might be switched over from housing ...

The Half-Blood Welshman 24 January 2008 at 16:21  

"Miss Wagstaff is wondering if Hain could've saved his reputation if he had made this gesture sooner."

I doubt it for the very good and obvious reason that the cornerstone of his reputation was competence. Losing one-half of your money is not competence!!! And it's not as though he was ever a particularly likeable character.

It might have saved his reputation among the Labour people as a man of honour - but to be honest, having studied his career and seen how he made one unprincipled, even unscrupulous twist after another (from Lib to Lab to New Lab, from anti-apartheid to silent on Mugabe etc) to further his colossal ambition, I never thought he was one. But the likes of Paul Flynn simply won't be told.

Anonymous 24 January 2008 at 16:56  

From the blog of Bethan Jenkins AM, " For now, and until we get primary legislative powers here in Wales, a Welsh presence at the Cabinet level is a practical necessity. Once Wales has the powers to pass its own laws, the need for a Secretary of State is questionable. The appointment of a new Secretary of State is imminent, and a decision for Gordon Brown to make ( if he doesn't dither for too long) We need a Secretary of State who will be consistent with the progressive agenda of the One Wales Government in Cardiff Bay, and not someone who will act in the inherent self interest of the unionist wing of the Labour party. A Secretary of State who will oversee the historic transition of primary law making powers to the National Assembly following a successful 'yes' referendum campaign."

Bless her little cotton socks.

Dotcommentator 24 January 2008 at 18:40  

'Dithering' is David Cameron's line. Is Bethan Jenkins hiding a secret Tory allegiance?

At least Hain has done the honourable thing in receiving 'dodgy' donations, for which he had no direct responsibility...for which he apologises unreservedly.

Miss Wagstaff 24 January 2008 at 20:51  

HB Welshman - It's difficult to see him returning in this government whatever the findings.

DC - your comment is going to make Bethan have nightmares when she sleeps tonight.

Anonymous 25 January 2008 at 00:29  

Dot com - Hain did nothing honourable. He broke the law and didn't come clean until some of the donations were exposed by Guido. He then took 6 weeks to come clean about the 17 undeclared donations and even then the media/blogs had to expose the dodgy PPF. He has yet, to my knowledge, come clean about that front organisation.
Hain's apologies are too little, too late - and only to try to save his career.

Dotcommentator 25 January 2008 at 11:16  

Anon 00:29 - you should have been able to read the sarcasm here: "At least Hain has done the honourable thing in receiving 'dodgy' donations, for which he had no direct responsibility...for which he apologises unreservedly." I was highlighting the Labour spin-machine that was trying to say Hain had done 'the honourable thing' and he said had no responsibility for the donations cock-up but then resigned and almost apologised.

AmberCat 25 January 2008 at 16:52  

I think that he had already fallen over the cliff and just could not hold on any longer.

Read my full thoughts and see funny picture caption at Ambercat's Blog

Anonymous 25 January 2008 at 16:58  

Nice Humpty Dumpty photo. Very apt.

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