Apparently Bernie Ecclestone, F1 Boss, gave a secret donation of over a million dollars to the Labor party and tony Blair immediately demanded a permanant exemption for tobacco advertising in F1. Apparently the partyw as set to make a universal ban on the tobacco advertising including F1.
Tony Blair personally ordered an exemption for motor racing from a tobacco sponsorship ban after Labour received a secret Â£1m donation from Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One boss.
New documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show he demanded a change of policy within hours of a meeting with Ecclestone on October 16, 1997, and his aides went on to blur the truth.
The affair was the first sleaze scandal of the new Labour era. At its height, Blair feared the episode would end his premiership and went on television to defend his reputation, saying he was a â€œpretty straight kind of guyâ€.
The new documents expose the extent to which he was the driving force behind plans to exempt F1 from Labourâ€™s manifesto pledge to end tobacco sponsorship of sport, pushing a reluctant Department of Health into agreeing. Before Ecclestoneâ€™s Â£1m donation, Labour had planned a universal ban.
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