Blair sends Lord Levy to meet Israelis

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The Independent Online

Lord Levy, Tony Blair's special envoy, was said to be in Israel meeting government officials yesterday to report back to the Prime Minister on the state of the ceasefire in Lebanon.

Labour's chief fundraiser has kept a low profile since his arrest over allegations that Labour sympathisers were offered peerages in exchange for loans or donations.

The allegations have no bearing on Lord Levy's role in the Middle East, which he has visited on Tony Blair's behalf, but when the affair blew up calls were made for his sacking. However, Lord Levy's diary for the first six months of 2006, posted on the Foreign Office website, show that he has remained active in his unpaid role.

In April he paid three visits to Jerusalem to meet senior Israelis, including the Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert. In a year, he seems to have met Mr Olmert more often than the past and present foreign secretaries, Jack Straw and Margaret Beckett, combined.

The shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said that the extent of Lord Levy's role was "not a satisfactory state of affairs".

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