In 2015, Tom Watson contested – and won – Labour’s deputy leadership election. He enjoyed widespread support from a membership inspired by his promise to give his full support to whichever candidate won the leadership election.
It was a promise he failed to fulfil, giving his support instead to the infamous ‘chicken coup’ less than a year after the election and attempting to persuade unions to withdraw their backing from the runaway winner of the leadership contest, Jeremy Corbyn.
In the course of his campaign, Watson received substantial funds from a number of donors – cash sums of up to £25,000 and one donation in kind valued at £70,000.
According to parliamentary rules, Watson had to declare all such donations in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.
According to a West Midlands whistleblower, he did not.
The whistleblower’s allegations refer to the annual report of the treasurer of the Labour group in the West Midlands borough of Sandwell for the year running from May 2015 to May 2016, of which he has provided the SKWAWKBOX with a copy.
Among various expenses the treasurer reports is a donation of £5,000 to Tom Watson’s campaign:
The detailed breakdown of Sandwell’s outgoings shows that the date of the donation was 11 June 2015:
But while Watson’s register (downloadable in Word format here: Tom Watson Deputy Leader Campaign donations) for that period includes a number of £5,000 donations, they are all from individuals and companies – there appears to be no entry for Sandwell.
The SKWAWKBOX is investigating allegations that a number of other donations were not declared.
We sent Tom Watson an urgent press enquiry about the allegation regarding the Sandwell donation. He did not respond by the time of publication.
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