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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2007, 18:31 GMT
Donor's business interests
By Alison Swersky
Business reporter, BBC News

David Abrahams
Mr Abrahams has said he never sought any favours from Labour

As the scandal over secret government donations unfolds, so the spotlight has been trained on the business arrangements through which the man at the centre of the allegations operated his property investments.

David Abrahams is a former Tyne and Wear county councillor who has also gone by the name of David Martin.

He has donated more than 650,000 to the Labour Party via other people, and is listed in Companies House as being the director of six companies, all based in the North East.

At some of these firms his co-directors include Ray Ruddick and Janet Kidd, two people who were used to funnel money to Labour.

The pair were used by Mr Abrahams for donations totalling 381,850 since 2003.

One donation of 5,000 was used to help Harriet Harman pay off the debts relating to her successful campaign to become Labour's deputy leader earlier this year.

Mr Ruddick and Ms Kidd are also listed as company secretaries at other firms with which Mr Abrahams is involved.

The role of company secretary is an important one as among its responsibilities is a requirement to ensure that the business complies with company law and that the firm's board of directors are informed of their legal responsibilities.

Mr Ruddick is a builder from Newcastle who has worked for Mr Abrahams, while Ms Kidd was employed by Mr Abrahams in a clerical capacity as his secretary.

Investigation

According to documents logged at Companies House, Mr Ruddick and Ms Kidd appear as the sole directors of a company behind a controversial commercial development in County Durham, for which plans were submitted by Mr Abrahams in 2005.

The registered address of the firm, Durham Green Developments, is Mr Abrahams' home address in Gosforth. In fact, Mr Abrahams' home is registered in the name of David Martin.

His plans for a 540-acre business park south of Durham City, near junction 61 of the A1 motorway, were initially blocked by the Highways Agency.

But about a year later their objections were withdrawn and the plan was given the green light.

This application will now be investigated, ministers have promised.

Following are a list of Mr Abrahams' companies and the people registered in the role of company director and company secretary:

Park View Property Investments:
Company director: David Abrahams
Company secretary: Janet Kidd

Acorn Residential Estates (North Tyne)
Company director: David Abrahams
Company secretary: Raymond Ruddick

Acorn Residential Estates (Durham)
Company director: David Abrahams

Acorn Commercial Developments (Northumbria)
Company director: David Abrahams
Company secretary: Raymond Ruddick

Foxlow Limited
Company director: David Abrahams
Company director: Janet Kidd
Company secretary: Raymond Ruddick

Webfast Limited
Company director: David Abrahams
Company director: Janet Kidd
Company secretary: Raymond Ruddick

Acorn Business Park (Durham)
Company director: Raymond Ruddick
Company secretary: Janet Kidd

Durham Green Developments
Company director: Janet Kidd
Company director: Raymond Ruddick
Company secretary: Janet Kidd



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