Former Conservative party treasurer Lord Marland of Odstock is reportedly preparing a bid for part of the struggling estate agent Humberts.

The AIM-listed group suspended its shares last month and it is believed administration is inevitable. Marland is one of three potential bidders looking at parts of the ailing firm that is handling the £3m sale of the historic Sherborne House in Dorset.

Marland, a former top insurance executive, is understood to be interested in buying half of the company.

It is unlikely money will change hands, but to ensure the acquisition succeeds it will require substantial support for two years.

Sunday Times