Page last updated at 10:43 GMT, Friday, 5 December 2008

Timeline: Hain funding row

Key events in the Peter Hain donations saga:

12 September 2006: Wales and Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain announces he will run to become deputy leader of the Labour Party when John Prescott stands down.

5 December 2006: The Progressive Policy Forum think tank is set up. One of its trustees, John Underwood, is closely involved in the financing of Mr Hain's campaign.

20 May 2007: Nationwide hustings involving the six contenders to be Labour's deputy leader begin. Gordon Brown, the only candidate for leader, also takes part.

1 June: Contest nominations close.

6 June: Ballot papers are sent out to Labour members, trade unionists and Labour MEPs.

8 June 2007: Mr Hain's campaign places a full-page advertisement in the Daily Mirror, thought to cost about 25,000.

22 June: Deadline for the return of ballots.

24 June: Justice Minister Harriet Harman wins the Labour deputy leadership, with Mr Hain coming fifth out of six candidates.

29 November: After the Electoral Commission announced it had referred the matter of Labour's disguised donations to the police "for further investigation", Mr Hain admits he failed to register a 5,000 donation by Labour's chief fundraiser Jon Mendelsohn to his deputy leadership campaign. Mr Hain blames the failure on an "administrative error".

1 December: Gordon Brown promises to push forward reform of the entire political party funding system.

3 December: It emerges that a fundraising dinner for prominent Welsh businessmen was held as part of Mr Hain's campaign. The dinner was paid for by Huw Roberts, a former aide to former Welsh Secretary Ron Davies. Mr Roberts tells BBC Wales he spent 1,300 to host the event, at the Park House Club in Cardiff on 23 April. The contribution in kind was not declared by the Hain campaign. Mr Hain reveals that further donations "were not registered as they should have been". He says he informed the Electoral Commission and will review all donations to his campaign and prepare a full declaration.

8 January 2008: The Guardian newspaper reports that no donations to Mr Hain's deputy leadership bid were declared after 4 May last year - six weeks before the end of the campaign.

10 January: Mr Hain admits he failed to declare more than 103,000 in donations, blaming his government responsibilities for distracting him from the running of his bid for the deputy leadership. He says the 17 donations, including 10,000 from Mike Cuddy, who runs Neath-based building contractor the Cuddy Group and 10,000 from the GMB trade union, all came from people who were "legally entitled" to contribute. Five of the donations, totalling 25,000, and one 25,000 loan were made through the Progressive Policy Forum think tank, according to the Electoral Commission.

11 January: The Conservatives accuse Mr Hain of "breathtaking incompetence". Tory Monmouth MP David Davies confirms he complained to the parliamentary commissioner for standards about the failure to declare donations. The Electoral Commission also launches an investigation. Plaid Cymru says Mr Hain's position is "untenable". Downing Street expresses "full confidence" in Mr Hain.

12 January: Mr Hain reads out statement to reporters outside his home in his Neath constituency, saying it was "absurd" to suggest he had tried to hide anything. He said he was "happy" for the inquiries to take their course and "meanwhile I will get on with my cabinet jobs".

14 January: Parliamentary standards commissioner John Lyon confirms he is to launch an inquiry into the funding row. Mr Hain promises to co-operate fully.

15 January: Among options being considered by the Electoral Commission is whether to refer the row over Mr Hain's donations to the police - which could lead to a court hearing and fine of up to 5,000.

16 January: Gordon Brown says that Mr Hain is guilty of "an incompetence" - not corruption. The Work and Pensions secretary comes under attack from the Tories in the Commons, who say the "chaos" is spreading to his department. However, Mr Hain receives a vote of "utmost confidence" from his constituency party in Neath.

24 January: At 1208 GMT, the Electoral Commission refers to the Metropolitan Police the late declaration of donations totalling 103,000. Within minutes, Mr Hain announces his resignation from the Cabinet, stepping down both as work and pensions secretary and as secretary of state for Wales.

2 July: Police hand over evidence relating to donations to Mr Hain's deputy Labour leadership to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

5 December: The CPS say Mr Hain will not face any charges as they could not prove that he handled the undeclared donations. Mr Hain says he is "pleased" to be able to clear his name after "ten months in limbo".



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