Feature

Peerages for sale

The week's news at a glance.

London

Prime Minister Tony Blair was in the hot seat this week over allegations that he intended to give peerages to four millionaires in exchange for secret loans to his Labor Party. One of the lenders, restaurateur Sir Gulam Noon, who is known as “the curry tycoon,” has withdrawn his name from consideration for a seat in the House of Lords; the others are expected to follow. But the scandal has taken its toll. When Blair became prime minister, in 1997, after ousting the corruption-plagued Conservatives, he promised to run an administration that was “purer than pure.” But a poll this week showed that nearly three-fourths of voters believe his government is “as sleazy or sleazier” than its predecessor.

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