Blair reported to Parliamentary Patronage Committee
over Cash For Knighthoods complaints
The complaints arise from the gross disparities in the rewards received by donors to the prime minister's city academy scheme.
David Garrard invested £2.4 million, and Peter Vardy, Clive Bourne and Frank Lowe all invested £2 million in local academy schemes. Each has received a knighthood. Barry Townsley, in contrast, invested the standard £2 million but he is currently up for a peerage.
Under the standard Downing Street 'Guidelines For Rewards In Response To Political Donations', sponsoring a single academy with a donation of around £2 million is worth an OBE, a CBE or a knighthood. Only donors willing to part with £10 million to sponsor 5 city academies qualify for a guaranteed peerage.
The special treatment afforded to Mr. Townsley is currently receiving attention from the appropriate quarter.
Another problem with city academies is that the sponsors are encouraged to 'brand' them according to their personal prejudices, which has raised concerns about what might happen to children educated in an academy 'branded' by some weird religious cult.
The same Downing Street official who insisted that 'in no way are political donations to city academies linked to honours' also insisted that the vetting process for 'branding' of city academies is in safe (but undisclosed) hands.