Christmas came early for Tony Blair. The long awaited police interview over the issue of selling honours (peerages, knighthoods etc) took place this morning. He was not interviewed under police caution nor was he arrested - such was the fate of many of the ninety one other people who have already been interviewed. As a lawyer, he would have played this very carefully. It is a criminal offense to sell peerages.
It is still too early to know whether he is off the hook, but his reputation is permanently damaged. It is a scandal, the depth of which we are yet to see. It reaches to all levels of the Labour Party - Lord Levy (senior adviser to Blair) has been arreseted and others expect to be.
Other parties are not immune from this, but the mud will stick to Blair. One of his major election platforms when first elected was to end the sleaze of the conservatives and to be cleaner than clean. His government has been riddles with scandal since the very beginning. The Deputy Prime Minister, Peter Mandelson and others have all been challenged and resignations have occurred.
Blair may have "got away" with this, but it will be his successor Gordon Brown who will have to live all of this down.