Page last updated at 13:08 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

Straw off hook on late donation

Jack Straw
Jack Straw is one of Labour's longest-serving ministers

No action will be taken over a 3,000 donation which Justice Secretary Jack Straw declared more than four years late, electoral officials have said.

Mr Straw says he received the money from US firm Canatxx Gas Storage on 22 April 2004, the Electoral Commission said, but registered it in late 2008.

Such donations are meant to be registered within 30 days.

But the Commission said it would not be "appropriate nor proportionate" to take any further action.

It emerged in 2006 that Canatxx, which operates a gas storage facility in Preesall, Lancashire, was one of the sponsors for a dinner to celebrate the Blackburn MP's 25 years in Parliament.

An Electoral Commission spokesman said the watchdog had written to everyone who had registered a donation, on time or not, to remind them of the rules.

Earlier this month it was confirmed that former cabinet minister Peter Hain would not face charges for the late declaration of 103,000 of donations to his Labour deputy leadership bid.

Mr Hain resigned in January to clear his name after it emerged that some donations to his campaign went undeclared.

Following a police inquiry, prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to charge him with anything.

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