Jon Mendelsohn profile: a real Mr Fix-It
By Christopher Hope, Home Affairs Correspondent
The Daily Telegraph, 09 Feb 2008
When Jon Mendelsohn was hired to be Gordon Browns chief fundraiser he was seen as a new broom who was sure to side-step controversy after his predecessor Lord Levy found himself mired in the cash for honours inquiry.
Yet less than three months after taking on the position he is facing calls to resign over a scandal that could prove even more dagaming to the Labour government.
When he was appointed as director of general election resources in August, his remit was to build a war chest to fund what most expected to be an imminent election campaign.
He now finds himself embroiled in Labours secret donations scandal, which could see him sacked after just four months in the job.
It is the second time in a decade that Mr Mendelsohn - described by friends as a real Mr Fix-It, like Lord Levy [Labours former chief fund-raiser] and Matthew Freud [the PR guru] rolled into one has found himself at the centre of a financial scandal.
Shortly after Labours landslide election victory in 1997, Mr Mendelsohn was a co-founder of a lobbying firm, LLM.
The company promised ethical lobbying in the wake of the cash for questions scandal which dogged the Tories in the 1990s, and pledged not to work for companies such as gun-makers and tobacco firms.
Yet within a year LLM was caught up in a cash for access row when executives were allegedly caught boasting about links to the Labour hierarchy.
LLM denied any impropriety.
The scandal did not dent the companys prospects, and Mr Mendelsohn and his colleagues sold the business for £10million in July 2005. It made him a millionaire.
Mr Mendelsohn left LLM in the summer to take on his unpaid role with Labour.
Westminster insiders who know him well say he probably thought he could sort out the problems presented by David Abrahams unorthodox way of donating.
One said: He would have thought he could fix it with David Abrahams and make him an open donor.
"But not telling the National Executive Committee or the Prime Minister is dreadful.
Mr Mendelsohn has admitted that he and Mr Abrahams have a personal history of past disagreements - a reference to when Mr Abrahams was ejected from Labour Friends of Israel when Mr Mendelsohn was chairman in 2002.
Mr Mendelsohn is steeped in the north London Jewish community.
He is a close friend of Lord Levy, who was at the heart of Labours cash for peerages affair.
Mr Mendelsohn donated £5,000 to Gordon Browns campaign to be party leader in the summer.
But a Labour source said: I think he has lost Brown the next election. Once you get tainted, this stuff sticks forever.
Mr Mendelsohn is one half of a media power couple.
His 35-year-old wife, Nicola, is a close friend of Mr Browns wife, Sarah, and is the deputy chairman of the advertising agency, Grey London.
She has won more than £100million of new business for Grey since she joined the agency.
The couple have four children, Gabi, Danny, Sam and Zac.
[end of article]
Images added by Radio Islam
Gordon Brown in deep conversation with his Jewish backer Jon Mendelsohn.
Please notice the Star of David in the background of the two.
Gordon Brown and Jon Mendelsohn