A report in the Daily Telegraph has plunged the Brent Central Liberal Democrat election campaign into crisis. Ibrahim Taguri, who was formerly the Liberal Democrats' chief fund raiser, is accused of seeking to get round the rules on reporting political donations. He denies any wrong doing. As a result of the sting, it was announced this morning that he will not be standing as a Liberal Democrat in Brent Central, although he was reported on the BBC this morning as wanting to stand as an Independent. This has been confirmed elsewhere.
Listening to the Today programme interview with Lord Ashdown this morning, I thought Ashdown did everything he could to distance the Liberal Democrats from "Mr Taguri". He also opined that the Liberal Democrats would be likely to stand a replacement candidate in Brent Central.
That sounds like a disaster for Brent Central Liberal Democrats to me. They are already short of activists, and their campaigning seems pretty thin. As well as their decline in national standing, they have lost whatever personal support Sarah Teather attracted. Splitting their few remaining supporters between their former candidate and a new candidate dropped in a few weeks before polling day sounds like the best way they could finally write themselves off. However, since Lord Ashdown is their General Election Campaign Chair, I take it he is an authoritative source.
The most recent specific information I can find on Brent Central is this Ashcroft poll. I would imagine that the demise of the Liberal Democrat campaign will make the Labour majority even bigger.
The Telegraph has a live update page on the allegations here.