Probe of cash for honors leads nowhere

July 20, 2007 at 10:05 AM

LONDON, July 20 (UPI) -- After a 16-month investigation that cost British taxpayers $1.6 million, the Labor Party's cash for honors scandal completely fizzled out.

Scotland Yard was informed by the Crown Prosecution Service that there is little chance evidence on hand can lead to a conviction against the people arrested in the alleged honors selling scheme, The Guardian reported Friday.

The probe began with a complaint by a Scottish member of Parliament who charged the Labor government of former Prime Minister Tony Blair with trading knighthoods and peerages for donations to the party.

Arrested during the investigation were Blair aide Michael Levy, Ruth Turner, Des Smith and Labor fundraiser Christopher Evans, the newspaper said.

The Guardian said the announcement that the case wouldn't proceed wasn't a surprise to most at Westminster.

"The investigation was ... nuts," one insider told the paper. Others lamented the damage it caused.

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