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10 February 2023

What is Labour’s cryptic countdown all about?

Does the party think it has uncovered a Conservative financial scandal?

By The Chatterer

Yesterday afternoon Westminster reporters received a strange email from the Labour communications team. A sinister black screen showed a very specific countdown, ticking down – 2 days, 18 hours, 19 minutes, 13 seconds and counting – to Monday morning.

Above the countdown was a tree, looking suspiciously similar to the Conservative party logo – but without any leaves, its branches broken.

What does it mean? The scrapping of the Labour’s Green Prosperity Fund? Another six weeks of winter? The end of the magic money tree?

A little white later the Labour communications Twitter account changed its name to “The GPC Files”. A website with the same name emerged, its thumbnail a black credit card with the tree logo at the top. The card is valid from 01/21 to 12/21, and registered in the name of the “Conservative Government” and Rishi Sunak. A reference to the government procurement card, the method by which the government buys products and services?

It’s all very dramatic, but just what has Labour uncovered? Rumours have been circulating around Westminster for quite some time that a certain news team has been holed up looking through Conservative Party finances in the wake of a number of financial scandals. So far these rumours have amounted to very little, however. Despite the Chatterer’s enquiries, we are still none the wiser. Labour sources say they are sworn to secrecy. Journalists are stumped.

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We now wait to see what Monday morning brings. It’ll probably be a sleepless weekend for No 10, and considering that Boris Johnson was the incumbent prime minister in 2021, it won’t be an easy few days for him either.

Whatever the Labour team thinks they have found, they clearly believe it is something big, something sinister – and something that will cause a major headache for the Prime Minister.

[See also: Rishi Sunak, the man who isn’t there]

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