Blair 'pleased' by honours inquiry ruling

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that he is "very pleased" by the news that the cash-for-honours inquiry has ended with no charges being brought.

Mr Blair said that those involved in the inquiry had faced a "traumatic time" and said: "Much of what has been written and said about them has been deeply unfair and I am very pleased for all of them that it is now over."

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed on Friday that no charges would be brought over the investigation.

An investigation was launched following a complaint made by Scottish National Party MP Angus MacNeil alleging that four wealthy Labour supporters had been nominated for peerages after making loans to the party.

More than 130 people were questioned during the course of the 16-month inquiry, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was questioned three times as a potential witness - the first sitting prime minister to be interviewed by police during the course of a criminal investigation.

Four people were also arrested - Labour fundraiser Lord Levy, Downing Street aide Ruth Turner, biotech tycoon and Labour donor Sir Christopher Evans and Des Smith, a former teacher who had advised the government on the academy school programme.

The inquiry was also widened to cover loans to the Conservative party, as well as other political parties.

Ms Turner said that the CPS' announcement was an "enormous relief", while Lord Levy echoed her comments, describing the ruling as a "great relief".

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that he hoped that the CPS' statement would bring an end to "months of speculation".


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

20 August 2015
Investigation Launched After Death Of Woman Following Bus Fall
A woman has died in hospital after falling on a route E3 bus on Chiswick High Road, just after 13:30 on Tuesday, 18 August. The 77-year-old woman was taken to hospital by ambulance, where she was pronounced dead shortly before 17:00.
19 January 2011
Release Of Bush Blair Memos Vetoed
The public disclosure of a number of secret memos between former Prime Minister Blair and ex US President Bush, sent during the run up to the Iraq invasion, has been blocked. The potentially politically volatile memos were determined to be made public as part of the ongoing Chilcot Inquiry into the war by the inquiry chairman, Sir John Chilcot.
21 January 2011
Blair Testifies At Iraq Inquiry
Tony Blair has been called for a second time to give evidence in the Iraq Inquiry. Earlier this year, the former Prime Minister defended his decision to go to war, saying that Saddam Hussein was a "monster" before stating that he had no regrets. However, the inquiry have requested "more detail" in some areas.
05 March 2010
Brown Appears Before Iraq Inquiry
Gordon Brown has defended the 2003 invasion of Iraq as the "right" thing to do. The Prime Minister, appearing before an inquiry into the war today, said Tony Blair did not keep him in the dark about plans. Mr Brown was Chancellor when the invasion was agreed. Today he said it was clear Iraq "had to be dealt with".
14 November 2006
Blair gives evidence in US Iraq inquiry
Prime Minister Tony Blair has given evidence to a US inquiry reviewing policy in Iraq. Mr Blair gave evidence to the Iraq Study Group via video-link.