Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pressure Grows for Probe into Irvine Funds Appeal

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pressure Grows for Probe into Irvine Funds Appeal

Article excerpt

Byline: CHARLES REISS

THE Government today faced calls for a full inquiry into the conduct of Lord Irvine and suggestions that he be stripped of his powers to appoint QCs and judges.

However, the latest opinion poll suggests that the Westminster passions over the behaviour of Peter Mandelson, Keith Vaz and, now, the Lord Chancellor are making no impact on the voters.

The poll by ICM in The Guardian finds that Labour's lead over the Conservatives has widened by five points over the past month. That puts Tony Blair on course for a landslide similar to his 1997 general election success.

It will heighten hopes among some Labour ministers and MPs that the Prime Minister will go for a contest in April rather than waiting for May.

Conservatives today asked Lord Neill, the public standards watchdog, to investigate Lord Irvine's invitation to lawyers to a dinner at which they would be expected to contribute "at least [pound]200" to the Labour Party. …

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