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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 January 2008, 15:37 GMT
In full: Peter Hain statement
Here is the full text of the statement by Peter Hain MP Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and for Wales on 12 January, 2008:

"It is a matter of public record that I was a candidate to be Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and I was proud to put myself forward.

The notion that there was some attempt by me to hide anything is absurd. As with all candidates, money was raised by my campaign team. All those who contributed are people and organisations who are eligible and legally entitled to do so.

I have provided full declarations of donations received to the Electoral Commission and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

I have unreservedly apologised to them for failing to register some of the monies on time, and I have also offered them my full co-operation with any inquiries they undertake.

After the campaign had finished, the extent of outstanding debt became apparent to me.

I was not involved in establishing the Progressive Policies Forum but it was prepared and able to assist in making donations to the Campaign and did so. Of course, when I reported these late to the Electoral Commission, I provided full details. I am now making immediate arrangements to repay 25,000 of the monies raised by or through the PPF as it came in the form of an interest free loan.

I have checked with my Permanent Secretary whether there is any conflict of interest between my Ministerial duties and any of the donors to my deputy leadership campaign as recorded in my statement of 10th January.

He is satisfied that none of these donations fell within the ambit of donations relating to private interests within the terms of the Ministerial Code, and accordingly he sees no conflict between them and my ministerial responsibilities.

I apologise for the embarrassment caused by poor administration and lack of early and clear disclosure.

However, I make no apology for being a committed candidate in Labour's deputy leadership campaign or for raising the funds necessary to run a modern campaign.

I am more than happy for the inquiries by the Electoral Commission and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to take their course and meanwhile I will get on with my Cabinet jobs.


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