On this day in F1 – 7th December 2002 – Bernie Ecclestone causes a stir in Parliament
An embarrassing day for both Bernie Ecclestone and the government after the Sunday Express revealed the Labour party had attempted to stall a ban on tobacco advertising to aid F1, shortly after Ecclestone had donated £1 million to them.
Tony Blair had been forced to pay back the money after the donation became public, but Liberal Democrat health spokesman Evan Harris said: “It’s outrageous. The inescapable conclusion is that they continue to be obsessed by the need to pay off old dues to their Formula One paymasters.”
Mr Blair said mistakes were made in dealing with the issue, but denies any wrong-doing. Tories said the government’s story is “riddled with holes” and dub it the “cash-for-access” affair.
Credit: ESPN & BBC
I always thought it was a stroke of genius by Ecclestone. He paid the £1 million, got the change in the law he wanted, and then got his money back.