The honours probe: Will we need “Hug a Blairie”?

The honours probe: Will we need “Hug a Blairie”?

    Will Yates’s “significant and valuable material” bring the exit forward?

Big new developments in the Yates inquiry this afternoon have seen changes in the “Blair leaving date” betting. The price on a Q1 2007 exit has moved in sharply as punters have tried to work out what are the implications of Assistant Commissioner John Yates letter to Tony Wright – the MP who chairs the Public administration select committee.

The plan is for the inquiry team to get a file to the Crown Prosecution Service in January – only a few weeks away.

In the letter Yates stresses that “the major developments” in the inquiry remained confidential – which he said, contrary to press reports, showed that security surrounding the investigation “remains very tight”.

    A most telling phrase is that to date the inquiry “has resulted in the acquisition of significant and valuable material”. Quite what this means is not clear but is does suggest substantial progress.

A key element in the departure date betting will be the rules that will determine how the market is settled. Betfair uses the term the date on which Blair “officially ceases to be leader” while other betting markets specifically express this in terms of when he actually leaves Number 10.

Mike Smithson

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