PM Blair's name now linked to Serious Fraud Case
ThisIsMoney reports that the Blairs' Connaught Square property continues to lie empty, haemorrhaging money, as it has done for six months. Originally, the agents were seeking nearly £4,000 a week; but the figure's been slashed to £2,750. (Multiply six months by even the reduced figure and we're talking about a loss in excess of 70 grand.) Now an estate agent from Cluttons, who is successfully renting out a property over the road from Casa Tonerie, is advising the Blairs to knock another thousand off the weekly rental figure if they're serious about finding a tenant. Christ, if Brown was this bad with numbers... =========================================================
Earlier of course came the Cheriegate affair over the Bristol flats, as we were recently reminded in the Telegraph at the end of last month by Jenny McCarney, linked here, from which comes this quote:
The Blairs have been notable in their greed for worldwide influence, power and money, and this greed has slowly eroded respect for the office of Prime Minister.
====================================================BUT what became of those Bristol flats is a question much harder to answer from a detailed search on the web. Although I recall reading they had been eventually let to a defence contractor I have repeatedly been unable to trace the source of such a report. This morning however, came this gem from the unlikely source of the Bristol University Student newsletter 'Epigram' 29th November, 2004 linked from here. The following are quotes from that report: =========================================================
The two luxury Bristol flats that Tony and Cherie Blair purchased in 2002 for their son's accommodation during his time at the University are currently being used by a defence firm which has deals with the British government.
The flats have been let to the French-owned arms manufacturer Thales, which has contracts with the Ministry of Defence worth several billion pounds. Furthermore, under a previous corporate name of Thomson CSF, the company donated thousands of pounds to the Labour Party in 2000; however Thales today has an ethical code forbidding such donations.
Last year the company was awarded a 50 per cent stake in the £2.8 billion construction of two aircraft carriers, and is working on the first phase of a £2 billion contract to provide high-tech battlefield communication equipment.
The company has also been chosen as the preferred candidate for an £800 million programme called "Watchkeeper", to produce Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for the MoD.
The flats, which cost £262,000 each in the prestigious Panoramic development, are situated on Park Row, next to the Level nightclub.It is estimated that the Blairs could receive up to £60,000 per year in rent for the flats.
=========================================================In view of the latest investigations it would seem the author's assumption that -"There is, however, little reason to suspect that there has been any misconduct by the Blairs, and Downing Street has vehemently denied any allegations of a conflict of interests between the Blairs and the handling of their assets. A spokeswoman said that the letting is coordinated by The Manchester Trust, "set up when he became Prime Minister to handle their private financial affairs"........... might be fanciful!