Would-be Milton Keynes MP takes ‘Blair’s blood money’

A Labour parliamentary candidate has taken “blood money” from Tony Blair to boost his election campaign – despite his anti Iraq war stance.

Andrew Pakes, who is contesting the MK South seat, has been accused of selling his principles by cashing in on the £1,000 gift.

“It is poxy blood money – it’s selling your principles on the cheap.”

Kate Hunter - Milton Keynes Stop The War

The 41-year-old is now facing a backlash after it emerged other Labour candidates had rejected the cash.

Former Prime Minister Blair, who was in office during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, recently hit international headlines over the amount he was paid while working as a Middle Eastern envoy.

Pavla Gossop, secretary of Milton Keynes Peace and Justice Network, said: “People who opposed the war in Iraq will be very disappointed in Andrew Pakes.

“He obviously thinks winning the seat for Labour makes it worth swallowing his principles.”

Neighbouring Northampton candidate, Sally Keeble, confirmed she refused the donation, claiming she found the sources of Mr Blair’s money to be “unacceptable”.

But Mr Pakes insisted he was pleased to have support from such a public figure.

He said: “Our local campaign is not based on big money or the sound and fury of Westminster politics.

“It is based on speaking to people on their doorstep and listening to their concerns.

“This donation from a former leader who won three General Elections for our party will help Labour get the best result for Britain on May 7.”

Kate Hunter from Milton Keynes Stop The War campaign group disagreed.

“It is poxy blood money – it’s selling your principles on the cheap,” she said.

“This will do more harm than good to Mr Pakes’ campaign.”