Is there a political risk in taking unilateral action?
According to the First Post online magazine tonight Gordon Brown is planning to take unilateral steps to stop the Tory multi-millionaire, Lord Ashcroft from pouring money into marginal seats between elections. At the same time there will be no constraints on the amount the trade unions can give to Labour – something that the Tories offered in exchange for agreeing to the marginal seats proposal.
This looks set to be a major row with the Tories claiming that Labour is trying to fix the election spending rules in its favour and not do anything in return.
There’s a huge danger in Labour being seen to act partially in this way and the move could provide the Tories with another stick to beat the government with.
It could be that the downside of the row is greater than the benefit of restricting Tory spending in the marginals.