Embattled work and pensions minister Peter Hain was embroiled in fresh controversy today when it transpired that he failed to declare a number of internal organs that were donated to his deputy leadership campaign.
Under Electoral Commission rules, Members of Parliament must list all donations in the Registry of Members Interests; the rules do not make any exceptions for donations of internal organs, blood, corneas or bone marrow. ‘We took these kidneys in good faith’ said the failed Deputy Leadership contender. ‘There is no suggestion that there was anything dodgy about our campaign accepting a load of human body parts from anonymous donors.’
But some commentators have questioned why a campaign for the Deputy Leadership needed a number of human body parts at all. ‘It is typical of the media to try and make out there is something unsavoury about what happened,’ said Mr Hain. ‘It is perfectly straightforward. During the campaign for my deputy leadership I accepted a number of human kidneys, several litres of blood and a pancreas. These have now been declared, and there is no question that these items should be given back. Indeed I doubt if the original donors would even want them.’
Following this latest controversy, the government has indicated that in future it may operate a system of ‘Presumed Consent’. In the event that your death, it will assumed that you wished to make a donation to the Labour Party unless you specifically opted out beforehand.
Team Biscuit and Hennell