Labour is facing an independent inquiry into its finances after a property developer admitted donating hundreds of thousands of pounds to the party and keeping his role a secret. Daily Telegraph, BBC

The Electoral Commission has asked Labour to explain how David Abrahams was able to give almost £400,000 to the party without his name appearing on its register of donors.

Abrahams admitted covertly donating money to Labour by giving it to two of his employees who then passed it to the party.

Disclosure laws say anyone donating money to a party on behalf of someone else must declare that person’s identity.

But Labour was unable to say yesterday if that had happened when Ray Ruddick and Janet Kidd gave money to the party on Mr Abrahams’s behalf.

Ruddick, a Newcastle builder, has donated £196,850 since 2003, while Mrs Kidd, Mr Abrahams’s secretary, has given £185,000.