Back in December, Guido pointed out the interesting links between EMI, the Smith Institute and Gordon Brown. This included the allegation of £29,375 payment to the New Statesman (owned by Geoffrey Robinson, the former paymaster general) along with other "undisclosed*, but substantial donations to the The Smith Institute".
The reason I bring this up is because Tory MP, Mark Hoban, has been asking question to the Chancellor about his relationship with EMI in Parliament it seems. He asked two questions about how many times either the Chancellor himself, or Treasury officials met with EMI in the past twelve months, and what the purpose of the meetings was. The response from John Healey - on Brown's behalf - was identical for both questions.
"Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings."In other words, "fuck off and stop asking awkward questions". John Healey is no stranger to the Smith Institute and has apparently written pamphlets for them. At the same time EMI have definitely used the Institute for some sort of policy influence.
So why the need for the Treasury to be so secretive and issue what are essentially non-denial denials about meetings with EMI? Hardly a credible response is it?
Image stolen shamelessly from Guido