Page last updated at 11:02 GMT, Saturday, 28 June 2008 12:02 UK

Timeline: Alexander donations row

Wendy Alexander has quit as Scottish Labour leader following a row over donations to her leadership campaign.

She was cleared by the Electoral Commission over an illegal donation from Jersey-based businessman Paul Green.

Separately, prosecutors decided not to bring a case against Ms Alexander for failing to record gifts to her campaign in the MSPs' register of interests - but Holyrood's standards committee recommended she should be banned from parliament for a day for breaking the rules.

Here is how events unfolded.

SATURDAY 28 JUNE, 2008

Ms Alexander announces her decision to stand down.

Ms Alexander makes her resignation statement at the party's Scottish headquarters.

THURSDAY 26 JUNE, 2008

The standards committee recommends Ms Alexander be banned from parliament for one day after breaking donation rules.

The committee, which spends more than two hours meeting in private, is split on taking action against her, but eventually votes to recommend the ban by four votes to three abstentions.

But, with the Scottish Parliament in summer recess, Ms Alexander will have to wait until September to learn her fate, when MSPs are asked to vote on the recommendations.

WEDNESDAY 25 JUNE, 2008

The Scottish Parliament's standards committee rules that Wendy Alexander broke parliament rules by failing to register donations on her MSPs' register of interests.

The cross-party committee takes its decision by five votes to two - but Ms Alexander again insists she has acted in good faith over the issue.

She says history has shown she had always complied with the rules on the register of interests.

SATURDAY 15 MARCH, 2008

The Electoral Commission defends the way it handled its inquiry into the donations.

Speaking publicly for the first time about its decision not to refer Ms Alexander to prosecutors, the commission dismisses criticism.

Head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland Andy O'Neill said the 10-week process had been necessary.

THURSDAY 6 MARCH, 2008

The Crown Office confirms Ms Alexander will not be prosecuted over failing to register donations on the MSPs' register of interests.

Ms Alexander welcomes the decision, but the SNP's Roseanna Cunningham says her position is far from secure.

MONDAY 11 FEBRUARY, 2008

Ms Alexander dismisses fresh claims made about her campaign fundraising as "mud slinging".

Weekend reports claim she raised 12,000 for one of her election campaigns from events run by a front organisation in 2002.

FRIDAY 8 FEBRUARY, 2008

A Nationalist MSP accuses the Electoral Commission of a whitewash after it decides not to report Ms Alexander to prosecutors.

Alex Neil claims the watchdog has shown itself to be incompetent by failing to refer Ms Alexander for accepting an "impermissible donation".

Labour MSP Lord George Foulkes says Mr Neil is a bad loser.

THURSDAY 7 FEBRUARY, 2008

Wendy Alexander is cleared by the Electoral Commission investigation into her leadership campaign funds.

It concludes that she took significant steps to comply with the law - but did not take "all reasonable steps".

The commission says it is not in the public interest to refer the case to the Crown Office or the procurator fiscal.

It says no further action should be taken.

MONDAY 4 FEBRUARY, 2008

Jim Sillars, a former SNP deputy leader, says Wendy Alexander should receive an apology from Dr Dyer.

The former Nationalist MP describes the move as "astonishing", but Dr Dyer points out that he is required to take such action if any alleged rule breach may be an offence.

SUNDAY 3 FEBRUARY, 2008

It emerges that Dr Dyer has reported Ms Alexander to prosecutors for failing to publicly declare campaign donations.

Ms Alexander insists she followed the guidance at every stage, and resists further opposition calls for her to quit the leadership.

It also emerges that Labour MSP Andy Kerr has been reported, for late registration of hospitality he received at a weekend event.

The former Scottish health minister said his actions "simply boiled down to error".

FRIDAY 1 FEBRUARY, 2008

Holyrood's standards watchdog, Dr Jim Dyer, tells Ms Alexander she needs to declare donations to her leadership campaign.

The Scottish Labour leader says parliament officials told her donations did not have to be recorded in her MSP register of interests.

But, after taking legal advice, Dr Dyer says donations worth more than 520 are classed as "gifts" and should have been declared.

SATURDAY 26 JANUARY, 2008

Des Browne, the UK Scottish secretary, says there will be no further resignations of prominent Labour politicians over the donations row.

But Mr Browne also tells BBC Scotland's Politics Show: "I am not anticipating that anyone else will be reported to the police."

THURSDAY 24 JANUARY, 2008

Peter Hain resigns as UK Work and Pensions Secretary, saying he wants to clear his name, as the police investigate more than 100,000 of undeclared donations to his deputy Labour leadership campaign.

Ms Alexander denies the event will cause a "domino effect" throughout the Labour Party - a prospect raised by first minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission says it will "take as long as is necessary" to reach a decision on the Alexander case.

FRIDAY 7 DECEMBER, 2007

Following his comments two days earlier, Mr Gordon says he plans to remain as the MSP for Glasgow Cathcart, despite his role in the controversy.

Mr Gordon says he will deal with whatever arises from the Electoral Commission "in due course".

WEDNESDAY 5 DECEMBER, 2007

The Electoral Commission watchdog looking into the illegal donation confirms it has received information from Ms Alexander's office.

Labour says Ms Alexander supplied a "huge amount" of documents to aid the inquiry, which the commission says will be reviewed.

BBC Scotland also reports its understanding that the 950 cheque was made out to the WA Campaign and not Wendy Alexander.

This prompts Edinburgh University public law lecturer Navraj Ghaleigh to say that this could make campaign treasurer David Whitton liable.

TUESDAY 4 DECEMBER, 2007

Ms Alexander again refuses to resign over the donation, saying such a move would be "wrong".

Speaking to journalists outside the Scottish Parliament, she acknowledges that mistakes have been made - but vows to fight on to clear her name.

Ms Alexander is given "unanimous" backing by Labour MSPs during one of their regular meetings at Holyrood, according to Labour MSP Duncan McNeil.

Meanwhile, Charlie Gordon reveals that he will soon make a decision on his political future, but declines to be drawn on whether he intends to quit as the MSP for Glasgow Cathcart.

In a separate development, Paul Green condemns "gross mismanagement" at the top of Scottish Labour.

He tells BBC Scotland that his donation was clearly a personal cheque.

MONDAY 3 DECEMBER, 2007

As political opponents keep the pressure on Ms Alexander to resign the leadership, a former standards watchdog, Sir Alistair Graham, tells BBC Scotland that she must seriously consider her position.

Sir Alistair says Ms Alexander should think about stepping back from the job while working to clear her name.

Meanwhile, Two labour peers ask police to investigate the leak of a list of donors to the Sunday Herald newspaper.

Lord Maxton and Baroness Adams - the former MPs John Maxton and Irene Adams - both gave money to Wendy Alexander's leadership campaign, but say that because their donations were under 1,000 they should have been able to remain anonymous under election law.

SUNDAY 2 DECEMBER, 2007

Ms Alexander says she intends to carry on as Scottish Labour leader, despite continued pressure for her to quit over the donation.

Her comments come after the Sunday Herald newspaper suggests her campaign team was aware early last month that it may not be permissible.

In a statement, Ms Alexander rejects any suggestion of "intentional wrongdoing" and says she is "confident" of being exonerated by the electoral watchdog.

Meanwhile, the SNP's Mark Hirst complains to police about the matter "as a private individual".

SNP deputy leader and Scottish deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon says Ms Alexander's position looks "untenable".

Ms Sturgeon suggests Ms Alexander is staying in post to act as a "human shield" for Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The comments come amid the investigation into donations of more than 650,000 to Labour, made by property developer David Abrahams using other people's names.

FRIDAY 30 NOVEMBER, 2007

Wendy Alexander makes a speech in Edinburgh on the future of devolution and is questioned about the donations.

"I deeply regret that this situation has occurred", she says, and adds that the matter is being studied by The Electoral Commission, which has by now widened its probe into a study of all the 17,000 donated to her campaign.

Meanwhile, Mr Green says Ms Alexander wrote a thank you letter in October to his address in Jersey and reveals he gave a donation of 950 to the Glasgow South party five months previously, in April.

This came after an approach from Mr Gordon, who says he may have made a similar error of interpretation on that occasion.

In a further twist, the Scottish Labour Party says it had turned down the offer of a donation in the past from Mr Green because he was not registered as an elector.

It did not know of the Glasgow South donation and, if it had, would have advised that the money be refused.

Labour also confirms that Ms Alexander had "regulated donee" status, making her legally liable.

THURSDAY 29 NOVEMBER, 2007

Labour MSP Charlie Gordon quits as the party's transport spokesman in the Scottish Parliament, after admitting to two blunders over the 950 donation.

He says he told the campaign team the donation was "under the auspices" of a Glasgow firm, Combined Property Services, and that Mr Green had a controlling interest in it.

"Unfortunately I was wrong in both these assumptions," says Mr Gordon.

Mr McCabe says full details only became clear at 1300 GMT that day and admits: "Clearly there has been a breach of the law as it stands."

Mr Green issues a statement later stating that he was asked by Mr Gordon to give 950 and was assured this was within the rules.

"Relying on that confirmation, I made the donation from my personal account," Mr Green added.

WEDNESDAY 28 NOVEMBER, 2007

Ms Alexander's campaign manager, Tom McCabe, issues a statement naming the supporter as Paul Green and says it was indicated to Mr Green that only a UK resident or UK registered company could donate.

"We acted in good faith," said Mr McCabe.

SUNDAY 25 NOVEMBER, 2007

Ms Alexander refuses to say whether she returned a leadership campaign donation of under 1,000 to a tax exile in the Channel Islands, the Sunday Herald newspaper reports.

It also says that she declined to release the name of the supporter, or to publish a full list of her backers in the Labour leadership campaign.

FRIDAY 14 SEPTEMBER, 2007

Wendy Alexander is officially named as Scottish Labour leader, beginning her new job by immediately setting out major party reforms.

TUESDAY 21 AUGUST, 2007

After a week of campaigning Ms Alexander is elected Scottish Labour leader.

She is the only candidate after two other key contenders, former health minister Andy Kerr and Margaret Curran, ruled themselves out.

She will not formally take up the post until a series of party meetings are held in September.

WEDNESDAY 15 AUGUST, 2007

Former first minister Jack McConnell announces his immediate resignation as Scottish Labour leader.

Mr McConnell has been under pressure to go since the Scottish National Party won power in the Holyrood elections in May.


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


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

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific