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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 November 2007, 21:17 GMT
Chris Leslie: Statement in full
Chris Leslie
Chris Leslie says he did not know who Mrs Kidd was
Chris Leslie, former MP and co-ordinator of Gordon Brown's leadership campaign, released this statement in response to the row over donations to the Labour party.

The prime minister has asked me, in my capacity as co-ordinator of his leadership campaign, to examine my records of the offer of a donation made by Mrs Janet Kidd which was not accepted.

It was not the practice of the campaign to accept donations from individuals who were not known to us.

In the course of the campaign I dealt with dozens of calls from potential or actual donors, or with people recommending potential donors.

In late May, I received a phone call from a man calling himself David Abrahams referring me to a woman named Janet Kidd who said that she wanted to be a donor to the campaign.

I did not know who Mr Abrahams or Mrs Kidd were.

I contacted Mrs Kidd, and unprompted, she sent a cheque for 5,000.

I made the usual checks to establish her bona fides, that she was a permissible donor, and also ascertained that she was an established Labour donor.

However, after consulting other members and supporters of the campaign team, and having established that no-one knew her, I decided not to take up her donation - in line with our practice - and tore up the cheque.

At no point either then or afterwards was I aware that Mr Abrahams was a donor to the Labour Party or that he was using Mrs Kidd or others as proxies to make donations to the party.

Subsequently, when the leadership election was over, I was approached by members of Harriet Harman's campaign team asking if I knew of any individuals who might donate to her deputy leadership campaign.

I passed them the details of Mrs Kidd as someone whose offer of a donation we had not taken up.

The prime minister and Jack Straw were at no stage involved in, or aware of, the contact from Mr Abrahams or the offered donation from Mrs Kidd, as it was not my practice to discuss with them offers of donations which we did not intend to take up.




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