openDemocracyUK

Who is bank-rolling David Miliband?

Guy Aitchison
8 July 2010

A bunch of wealthy Blairites seems to be the answer, as revealed by the list of major donors to the leadership campaigns in June released by the Electoral Commission.

Via Left Futures

Media baron Waheed Ali and David Claydon have each donated £50,000, Lord David Sainsbury £31,188 (including the use of offices), Mishcon de Reya £13,077 in legal services and £10,000 each from filmaker David Putnam, IT mogul Lord Parry Mitchell and businessman Sir Sigmund Sternberg, over £185,000 in donations over £1500 plus a further 94 smaller donations which do not have to be declared but to which David did refer in a blog curiously entitled “I want to make the Labour Party a Fighting Machine against the Tories“.

The two Eds are just small fry in comparison: brother Ed declared just five donors of £5000 or less, and Ed Balls just two, just short of £15,000 from popular author, Ken Follett, husband of ex-MP Barbara, and £12,925 from John Spellar MP. Andy Burnham and Diana Abbott are yet to register any donations.

With this kind of financial backing it's difficult to imagine how DM can lose. His campaign simply dwarfs that of his opponents with a huge machinery and on-the-ground operation. It includes the financing of the "Movement for Change", a project to "rebuild" Labour by training 1,000 party members across the country in the community organising techniques of London Citizens.

This has allowed DM to adopt the radical posture of "re-connecting" with the grassroots of the party, "opening up the debate" etc whilst (from what I can tell) offering no concrete proposals for how he would actually restore internal party democracy. Indeed, all the signs are that he will perpetuate the same centralised control of the party as his New Labour predecessors which surely helps explain why he's seen as such a "safe" pair of hands by these wealthy donors in the first place.

DM is odds on favourite at 2/5 with William Hill. His brother Ed is 2/1 and Ed Ball languishes at 10/1.

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