In the Media

Blair fights Cabinet for £90m to fund 'Respect' unit

PUBLISHED September 5, 2005

Tony Blair has gone to war with his Cabinet by diverting almost £90 million to a new "Respect" unit headed by a controversial adviser, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

A leaked memo seen by this newspaper shows that the Prime Minister has insisted that £30 million from each of the budgets of three front-line departments, including money intended for crime-fighting and education, is used to fund the task force headed by Louise Casey.
Mr Blair's intervention follows a previous refusal by John Prescott to allow any money from his department to be given to Ms Casey, who recently boasted in a speech about getting "hammered".