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Sunday, August 2, 1998 Published at 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK

UK Politics

Lobbyist escapes disciplinary action

Derek Draper will not be disciplined

Former lobbyist Derek Draper will not be disciplined by the Labour Party for his role in the cash-for-access row.

Mr Draper, a former aide to Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Mandelson, was referred to the party's National Executive Committee by two backbench MPs.

He had boasted to undercover newspaper reporters of his access to the government.

'An idiot'

Alice Mahon, MP for Halifax, and Gordon Prentice, who represents Pendle, wanted him dealt with for conduct "grossly detrimental to the interests of the Labour party".

[ image: Draper: No grounds to proceed against him]
Draper: No grounds to proceed against him
The NEC had decided there are no grounds for proceeding against him, said a Labour Party spokesman.

He said: "Nobody is trying to excuse anything that Derek Draper has done.

"Obviously Derek Draper is an idiot who has done himself a lot of damage.

"But just because someone who is a member of the Labour Party does something idiotic, that is not grounds for discipline."

After the allegations surfaced last month Mr Draper left his job with GPC Market Access and was sacked from his column on the Daily Express.

Mr Draper was described as a "rogue elephant" in a report into the scandal by the lobbyists' trade association.

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