Political

Labour’s secret donor: what the law says

Here are the facts of the matter as we know them so far:

1. “A wealthy North East property developer has admitted being behind a series of large donations to the Labour Party. David Abrahams gave more than £400,000 to the party through “friends” Janet Kidd and Ray Ruddick because, he said, he did not want to “seek publicity” … He said he had “gifted funds to my friends and colleagues” so they could make donations on his behalf. ” [BBC]

2. “Ray Ruddick, 55, who drives a Transit van and lives in an ex-council house, was registered as having given £196,850 to Labour since 2003 … Janet Kidd, 56, who works as a secretary for Mr Abrahams and is also a director of some of his companies, is also registered as having given £185,000 to Labour over a similar period. She lives in a modest, semidetached home in Gateshead, Two of their donations, each of £80,000, were made on the same day in July shortly after Mr Brown became Prime Minister. The combined total of the donations is £381,850 over four years.” [The Times]

And this is what the law says:

Where—
(a) any person (“the agent”) causes an amount to be received by a registered party by way of a donation on behalf of another person (“the donor”), and
(b) the amount of that donation is more than £200, the agent must ensure that, at the time when the donation is received by the party, the party is given all such details in respect of the donor as are required by virtue of paragraph 2 of Schedule 6 to be given in respect of the donor of a recordable donation. [Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act, 54 (6)]

In turn, paragraph 2 of Schedule 6 says:

In the case of an individual the report [to the Electoral Commission] must give his full name and—
(a) if his address is, at the date of receipt of the donation, shown in an electoral register (within the meaning of section 54) [or the Gibraltar register], that address; and
(b) otherwise, his home address (whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere).

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