As Owen Smith’s supporters struggle to stay positive about his chances in the Labour leadership race, the MP can at least take heart that some still have faith. The latest Register of Interests shows that Smith has received a donation of £67,550 from Anthony Watson. This covers the rental, phone and internet costs of Smith’s campaign office.
Alas, Mr S suspects not all Labour members will be so impressed by the news. When Watson was hired by Angela Eagle — then shadow Business Secretary — the former Nike boss was touted as the ‘ethical’ business adviser who could ‘recalibrate Labour’s relationship with the business community’. However, doubts were soon raised over whether he lived in London — as Labour claimed — or in Los Angeles — as his Facebook profile claimed.
Watson then came under fire for a second time when Guido revealed that a firm run by Watson was incorporated in the Caymans. In an interview, Eagle defended her hire — explaining that Watson’s company ‘pays taxes in all the jurisdictions in which it operates’. Of course, whether the grassroots Corbynistas will be satisfied with that explanation is another matter entirely.