Blair interviewed by detectives
THE Prime Minister was questioned today by detectives from Scotland Yard investigating the so-called cash-for-honours affair.The interview, which took place in Downing Street and lasted for almost two hours, was not conducted under caution and Mr Blair was not accompanied by a lawyer.
By Graham Dines
THE Prime Minister was questioned today by detectives from Scotland Yard investigating the so-called cash-for-honours affair.
The interview, which took place in Downing Street and lasted for almost two hours, was not conducted under caution and Mr Blair was not accompanied by a lawyer.
Angus MacNeil, the Scottish National Party MP whose complaint triggered the police inquiry, said it was unprecedented' for a serving Prime Minister to be interviewed in a criminal investigation and claimed: “This revelation will be shaking the very foundations of Westminster.”
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Mr Blair's spokesman denied that the interview had been deliberately timed to coincide with the publication of the Stevens report into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales - burying bad news on a busy day for the media.
“Categorically, that was not the case at all. Categorically, there was no linkage with other events,” said the spokesman, who added: “The Prime Minister explained why he nominated each of the individuals and he did so as party leader in respect of the peerages reserved for party supporters as other party leaders do.
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“The honours were not, therefore, for public service but expressly party peerages given for party service.
In these circumstances, that fact that they had supported the party financially could not conceivably be a barrier to their nomination.”