Police To Investigate Labour Donations

The Metropolitan Police is to investigate donations made to the Labour Party, it has been announced.

The investigation was launched after it emerged that property developer David Abrahams had given more than £650,000 to Labour via middlemen.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the donations would be returned because they were unlawful.

However, the party's deputy leader Harriet Harman said that she took "in good faith" £5,000 from Janet Kidd for her campaign without knowing it was actually Mr Abrahams' money.

It then emerged that former Labour MP Chris Leslie, who was a member of Mr Brown's campaign team, who put Ms Harman in touch with Mrs Kidd after they did not take up her offer of a donation. He has stressed that neither Mr Brown nor Jack Straw, his campaign manager, knew anything about the contacts with Mr Abrahams or the attempted donation made by Mrs Kidd.

On Friday, Ms Harman denied damaging the Prime Minister's reputation.

Hilary Benn, who ran against Ms Harman in the leadership contest, also revealed that he turned down a £5,000 offer from Mrs Kidd, but later accepted a donation under Mr Abrahams' own name.

Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain has also admitted that he failed to register a £5,000 donation for his deputy leadership campaign, blaming an administrative error.

Mr Abrahams has said that he donated money under other people's names to protect his privacy and did not know that it broke laws.

The announcement of the latest police investigation comes just months after Scotland Yard completed an investigation into the 'cash-for-honours' scandal, which resulted in no charges being brought.


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