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By Ray Fleming UNTIL yesterday only one person had ever been charged under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act since it became law in 1925. That was the notorious Maundy Gregory who had close connections to No 10 Downing Street. The Act was introduced following the blatant selling of honours by prime minister David Lloyd George in the early 1920s when a barony cost 50'000 pounds and a knighthood a mere 15'000. Most of the money went straight into Lloyd George's pocket. Yesterday Lord Levy, Tony Blair's and Labour's chief fundraiser, was “arrested in connection with alleged offences” under the 1925 Act which states that it is a misdemeanour to accept or obtain any gift, money or valuable consideration as an inducement or reward for “a dignity, or title or honour”. Anyone charged and found guilty could face two years in prison. Lord Levy's arrest presumably follows the statement made earlier in the week by Sir Gulam Noor that he was advised by Lord Levy not to reveal the loan he had made to the Labour Party to the Peerages Scrutiny Committee which was considering his nomination for membership of the House of Lords. Alex Salmond, the Scottish Nationalist leader who first raised the cash-for-honours issue, said yesterday: “The water is lapping up the beach, it's round the ankles of the Prime Minister...Tony Blair's pack of cards is starting to tumble down.” Given the seriousness of this matter I think Mr Salmond's mixed metaphors can be forgiven.