A host of new donors to the Boris Johnson campaign to be London mayor are today published on the Electoral Commission website.
The names include Patrick Snowball, former chief executive of Norwich Union, who has given the blond bombshell £8,000. Snowball was in the news this week as he will be leading the Tory proposal to set up a new “Green ISA” scheme.
Others are Jonathan Mervis, Lord Jonathan Marland, Cameron Mackintosh and a group called Elliott Advisers.
Johnson picked up £33,000 of support in January and £47,000 in February, taking his running tally to about £356,000. Still some way off the £1m-plus which his team has been seeking ahead of the May 1 poll.
As for Ken Livingstone, it’s not clear how much he has raised because the donations come via the Labour party and won’t be public until a few weeks after the election. It’s safe to predict that much of his cash will come from the unions. Brian Paddick, the Lib Dem man, has been trailing on the funding stakes.
Resurgent Boris is clearly starting to worry the government.
I’ve just emerged from the main hall at the Labour spring conference in Birmingham where ministers lined up to criticise him. Tessa Jowell, London & Olympics minister, admitted that the mayoral contest is the closest we have seen in nearly a decade.
Hazel Blears, communities secretary, said: “Boris is no joke. He’s a nasty, right-wing elitist, with odious views and criminal friends like Conrad Black.”
Don’t hang back Hazel. Tell us what you really think.
Incidentally I went to a debate of the candidates on Tuesday night and was impressed by both Paddick and Sian Berry from the Greens. One of her ideas is subsidised office space for creative companies in central London, which makes sense. Ken told her he would invite her into his team if he won a third term – although it wasn’t clear how serious he was being.