At the end of January some people might remember the news that Birmingham Council had given a £2m subsidy to the Conservative Party to host this year's conference in the city.
At the time there was, as you'd expect, outrage on LabourHome with charges of "bungs" and "maladministration" being thrown around and general hand-wringing. Alex Hilton aka RecessMonkey suggested that it should be reported to the "district auditor!"
So I decided to email Bournemouth Council and see if they had offered a subsidy to the Labour Party to hold their 2007 conference there. Guess what. Bournemouth Borough Council, like all the other Councils in conference destinations have a "Conference subsidy" budget, specifically for the purposes of attracting large volume conferences.
What's more, the Labour party have been offered a subsidy to hold their Conference in Bournemouth, although the figure has not yet been finalised. Bournemouth has also given subsidies to other political parties to hold their conference there over the past five years.
So much for maladministration, district auditors and so-called bungs! It's standard bloody practice.