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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 December 2007, 18:21 GMT
Alexander to continue as leader
Wendy Alexander

Wendy Alexander intends to carry on as Scottish Labour leader, despite continued pressure for her to quit over a donation to her leadership campaign.

It follows suggestions in the press that her campaign team knew there were question marks over a donation from Jersey-based businessman Paul Green.

Ms Alexander rejected any suggestion of "intentional wrongdoing" and was "confident" of being exonerated.

She said she still had a contribution to make to the lives of fellow Scots.

A 950 donation from Mr Green to Ms Alexander's leadership campaign broke rules outlawing donations from people based outside the UK.

I offered myself to lead Labour in the Scottish Parliament in the autumn because I believed and continue to believe I have a contribution to make to improve the lives of my fellow Scots
Wendy Alexander
Scottish Labour leader

The Sunday Herald newspaper has now suggested that her campaign team was aware early last month that the donation may not be permissible.

The Electoral Commission watchdog has already been in contact with Ms Alexander, looking for details of all the donations made to her campaign fund.

In a statement, Ms Alexander, the sister of International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander, said: "I deeply regret the damage which recent publicity has brought to the Labour party.

"However, I reject any suggestion of intentional wrongdoing on my part. I intend to address these matters with the Electoral Commission, with whom I am co-operating fully.

"I am confident when all the facts are known I will be exonerated of any intentional wrongdoing."

SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon said Ms Alexander's position looked "untenable".

She said: "The only reason Ms Alexander is staying in post is to act as a human shield for Gordon Brown whose sole priority is not her interests or Scottish Labour; it's to prevent the house of cards collapsing down south.

"The Scottish Labour leader has been presented with incontrovertible evidence yet has resorted to a vow of silence.

"None of the questions posed have been answered, none of the issues settled.

"Wendy Alexander certainly can't hide behind an electoral commission inquiry and likely forthcoming police inquiry without answering any of the obvious questions; who knew what, when and how."

Scottish Conservative deputy leader Murdo Fraser said Ms Alexander had no future and was now a "lame duck leader".

'Scottish contribution'

Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael added: "This is a very big mess for Labour.

"Labour wrote the rules on party donations themselves yet seem unable to stick to them."

Meanwhile, SNP researcher Mark Hirst, acting in a personal capacity, has asked police to investigate the donation.

Strathclyde Police said: "We can confirm we have received an e-mail and the matter will be looked into."

Ms Alexander, MSP for Paisley North, said there was "a great deal more" she wanted to say, but added that it would be inappropriate in light of the commission's ongoing inquiry.

"I offered myself to lead Labour in the Scottish Parliament in the autumn because I believed and continue to believe I have a contribution to make to improve the lives of my fellow Scots," added Ms Alexander.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Wendy Alexander's statement on the donation



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