Powell to be interviewed under caution over honours

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Indy Politics

Police investigating "cash for honours" allegations are preparing to interview two of Tony Blair's senior aides under caution, sources said yesterday.

Jonathan Powell, the Prime Minister's chief of staff, and Ruth Turner, the director of government relations at No 10, both face being re-interviewed by detectives from Scotland Yard as police come towards the end of their investigation.

The two officials have already spoken to the Metropolitan Police inquiry team led by Assistant Commissioner John Yates.

Last month it was reported that the two aides had received requests for more information.

About 90 people have been interviewed as part of the inquiry. three of whom were arrested. Last month Mr Blair became the first serving prime minister to be interviewed by police as part of a criminal investigation, although he was only interviewed as a witness.

No one has been charged with any offence.

The Crown Prosecution will decide whether there is a realistic possibility of a conviction arising from the information gathered by the inquiry.

Mr Yates told MPs in November that the investigation had uncovered "significant and valuable material" and indicated that he hoped to conclude the inquiry this month.

Mr Blair has defended his role in the nominations for peerages which triggered the inquiry.

Lord Levy, the Labour fundraiser, has already been interviewed under caution after being arrested.

Downing Street insisted last night that it could not comment on the inquiry.

A spokeswoman said: "We would not comment on anybody but the Prime Minister in relation to the inquiry. It is an ongoing investigation.

"We believe it is a matter for the police to investigate and we should not make any comment."

Scotland Yard also declined to comment on the case. A Yard spokesman said: "We cannot discuss anyone we intend to interview in any investigation."