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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2007, 12:00 GMT
In full: Mendelsohn statement
Here is the full text of the statement issued by Jon Mendelsohn, Director of Labour Party General Election Resources:

When it was announced yesterday that Lord Whitty would be investigating the background to these donations to inform the work of Bishop Harries and Lord McCluskey, I immediately offered to provide all of the details I had.

I started in my role as Director of General Election Resources on the 3 September 2007, work I undertake in a voluntary capacity.

When I was researching previous gifts and plans I enquired into the names of individuals I did not know or otherwise recognise which included Janet Kidd, Raymond Ruddick and latterly John McCarthy.

I was informed by Peter Watt to whom I reported that this was an arrangement with David Abrahams which was long-standing and which was appropriately dealt with in relation to the Party's reporting requirements. He told me these donations fully complied with the law and I had no reason to doubt that information.

However I was unhappy with the arrangement whereby donations were taken through a third party and was determined it would not play a part in our future plans. I was very concerned that these arrangements did not meet the strict transparency test that I wished to see in place.

I did not discuss this with the officers of the National Executive Committee or party leadership but I decided to tell Mr Abrahams that his method of contribution was unacceptable. I had no intention of asking Mr Abrahams for donations and wanted to give him the courtesy of explaining this personally.

At the beginning of November I asked my assistant to try and fix a personal meeting with Mr Abrahams so that I could tell him this. He was only given the general reason for the meeting that I wanted to update him on our plans. He declined to have a meeting on this basis. He specifically asked if it was for asking for money and was given the reply that it was to update him on our plans.

I had considered it likely that given our personal history of past disagreements he would be reluctant to meet. I signed a typed letter on the 22nd November. The letter does not ask for funds, but is a polite and courteous request to organise a meeting at which I was planning to tell him of my decision.

I am submitting all this evidence to Lord Whitty.


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