[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Lord Sainsbury gives Labour 2m
Lord Sainsbury
Lord Sainsbury is one of Britain's richest men
Former science minister and supermarket billionaire Lord Sainsbury has given the Labour party a 2m donation.

Lord Sainsbury said he was "impressed" with Gordon Brown and added Labour was the only party committed to social justice and economic prosperity.

He has given more than 16m to the Labour Party and has made a 2m loan.

One of Britain's richest men, he was one of Tony Blair's first appointments to the Lords and became a minister in 1998, resigning last year.

'Social justice'

In a statement, he said: "I have today made a donation of 2m to the Labour Party because I believe that Labour is the only party which is committed to delivering both social justice and economic prosperity.

"This is why I joined the party in the 1960s and why I continue to support it today.

"I have been very impressed by the start that Gordon Brown has made as prime minister, and want to help ensure that he is able to continue the progress that has been made in recent years in delivering prosperity for all."

Loan 'rolled over'

Later a spokesman for Lord Sainsbury said the money was separate to the 2m loan, which is due to be repaid in September and which might now be "rolled over".

A regular Labour donor, Lord Sainsbury was among people questioned by police during the cash-for-honours investigation and was also cleared of breaching the ministerial code in April 2006 - after failing to disclose a 2m loan to the party.

He denied his resignation was anything to do with this, saying he wanted to get back to his charitable and business interests.

According to Electoral Commission figures for April to June, donations to Labour were still outstripping the Conservatives.

As of 30 June, Labour was in debt by 20.2m - a spokesman said then finances were still in a "challenging position" but there had been an "upturn".

Labour's general secretary, Peter Watt, thanked Lord Sainsbury for his "long-standing and unstinting support" and "very generous donation".


SEE ALSO
Labour gets most cash from donors
21 Aug 07 |  UK Politics
Political party finances revealed
25 Jul 07 |  UK Politics
Profile: Lord Sainsbury
10 Nov 06 |  UK Politics
Sainsbury earned science respect
10 Nov 06 |  Science/Nature
Ministers quizzed in donor probe
14 Jul 06 |  UK Politics
Minister 'cleared' over 2m loan
02 Apr 06 |  UK Politics



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific