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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 July 2006, 20:15 GMT 21:15 UK
MP probes award to Levy ex-aide
Lord Levy in Downing Street
Lord Levy is a close friend and colleague of Tony Blair
A Liberal Democrat MP has written to the Cabinet Office to ask why the former secretary of Tony Blair's chief fundraiser Lord Levy received the MBE.

Jean Cobb was given the award "for charitable services" in the Birthday Honours of June 2002.

She worked for the peer in his capacity as president of three charities.

But Norman Lamb, chief of staff to Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell, has asked who nominated her for the award and on precisely what basis.

Lord Levy, 61, was arrested and bailed last week in connection with the "cash for honours" inquiry by the Metropolitan Police. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Was Mrs Cobb given preferential treatment as a result of her position as Lord Levy's secretary?
Norman Lamb
Liberal Democrat MP

Mr Lamb said he would raise the issue of her award with the Cabinet Office following a report by Channel 4 News that Mrs Cobb's charitable work involved secretarial services to charities, including Jewish Care, Jewish Free School and Community Service Volunteers.

The programme also claimed Mrs Cobb was nominated by Lord Levy.

In his letter to the Cabinet Office, Mr Lamb wrote: "Is this a proper basis on which an MBE is awarded?

"Was Mrs Cobb given preferential treatment as a result of her position as Lord Levy's secretary?

"I would be grateful if you would clarify the precise basis of the award of this MBE. Further, please confirm who nominated Mrs Cobb for this award."


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