By Conrad Landin in Britain:
Monday 9th March 2015
Lesley Brennan, who faces an uphill struggle to reclaim the Dundee East constituency from the SNP, announced she would reject an offer of £1,000 from the former prime minister.
The Star has learnt that Labour Party officials were concerned that a offering from Mr Blair would attract publicity to his disastrous legacy and his business links to despotic regimes in Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan.
Bigwigs decided a donation would be considered less toxic if it was focused on key constituencies.
In a letter accompanying the cheques, Mr Blair wrote: “I know how hard it can be to raise money to fund a local campaign, but for you, in one of our 106 battleground seats, it is even more vital.”
But writing on Twitter, Ms Brennan said: “Received donation from Tony Blair. Instinct was to not accept. Discussed with team. Dundee East is not accepting the £1,000.”
Several other candidates are known to be consulting their local members on whether to follow suit.
One candidate in a target seat told the Star: “It’s like being force-fed putrid goats’ brains.”
Respect MP George Galloway demanded Labour publish a list of those who had accepted the donations and said his former opponent Imran Hussein — who is now standing in a neighbouring seat — had also rejected the offer.
He fumed: “Has Naz Shah, my opponent in Bradford West, knocked it back? The electorate needs to know.
“Because all great Neptune’s oceans will never wash this money clean, those that accept it, or Blair’s hands.”
Bradford West is not a target seat, so it is unlikely Ms Shah would have been offered the cash.
“This is money largely earned from some of the world’s most bloodthirsty dictators, and I’m not at all surprised Lesley Brennan should feel that she wants no part of it,” Mr Beckett said.
Labour did not respond to a request for comment.