Iain Dale's much flaunted new politics mag is to be bankrolled by none other than Lord Ashcroft.
Your correspondent discovered Dale squatting in Ashcroft's 7 Cowley Street basement lair when I paid an uninvited call to the Westminster block. Dale insisted the company was his, with Ashcroft a wealthy investor who'll play no editorial role. Yet I suspect the involvement of the moneybags right-winger, whose tax status remains an international mystery, will hinder Dale's attempt to present Total Ashcroft as "politically neutral
Bob Piper asks the question
Are there any other Tory bloggers getting a 'subsidy' from Ashcroft? (No, not you, newmania... he wouldn't be that daft)... for instance is that other 'independent free spirit Paul Staines also in receipt of Ashcroft gold? As MaGuire says... just exactly how big a hole does this blow in the claim that Total Ashcroft will be politically neutral?
Iain Dale talking to media Guardian replies
Ashcroft's cash would not influence the magazine's content.
A deal with the Tory peer had yet been signed, and any agreement would be purely a "commercial arrangement and Ashcroft's involvement would be a "huge compliment", said Dale.