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Online gambling adviser now Labour Party fundraiser

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by jetset, Aug 12, 2007.

    Aug 12, 2007
  1. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service

    Jon Mendelsohn named as Labour's director of general election resources

    Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper made much of the appointment this week of Jon Mendelsohn as the Labour Party's director of fundraising, flagging his previous involvement as a spokesman for Ruth Parasol's Party Gaming online gambling group.

    The newspaper claimed that Mendelsohn "...represented a colourful businesswoman who made a fortune from sex chatlines and online gambling," naming Parasol as the co-founder of the internet company PartyGaming "....and the Internet Entertainment Group (IEG), which offered paying customers real-time footage of women stripping."

    The article quotes an online gaming industry source as saying: Mendelsohn worked for Parasol in an advisory capacity for several months.

    As the co-founder of the political lobbying firm LLM, Mendelsohn has lobbied on behalf of Ladbrokes, the bookmaking firm, for favourable gambling legislation.

    The revelations linking Mendelsohn with Parasol come just days after the appointment of Mendelsohn, who has donated GBP 5 000 towards prime minister Gordon Browns Labour leadership campaign. In the wake of the disclosures critics have accused the prime minister of "double standards". They pointed out that only last month, Brown seemed to be strongly signalling his dislike for the gambling industry when he killed off plans to open Britains first super-casino in Manchester.

    The newspaper opines that the appointment of a man connected with PartyGaming will enrage many in the City. Last year, investors lost tens of millions of pounds when PartyGamings shares plunged by 60 percent on the Stock Market.

    The Labour Party says that in his voluntary post Mendelsohn, a former adviser to previous premier Tony Blair, will strengthen its supporter base, seek value for money in its spending, and build up its election-fighting machinery. Like Lord Levy, Tony Blair's chief fundraiser, Mendelsohn is an influential player in Londons Jewish community.

    He co-founded LLM Communications in 1997. A year later, the company found itself embroiled, along with other lobbying firms, in the so-called cash for access row, fending off allegations that one of Mendelsohns colleagues gave details of then Chancellor Browns Mansion House speech to a client days before it was delivered.

    LLM declared that it had committed no impropriety, adding: We have at all times made clear that our political communications advice is based on understanding and analysis, and not on access.

    When Mendelsohns position was announced on Wednesday, he declared: As a lifelong Labour supporter and a passionate believer in social justice, I am delighted. He will seek to avoid a conflict of interest by severing all links with his companys clients before taking up his new role.

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