Ecclestone accepts his pounds 1m

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The Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone has cashed the pounds 1m cheque Labour sent him in November, a party spokesman said yesterday.

The cheque covered a donation which Labour returned on the advice of Lord Neill, chairman of the committee on standards in public life. That followed the controversy over Tony Blair's decision to sanction an exemption from a ban on tobacco advertising for Formula One racing.

Mr Ecclestone, a millionaire, received the cheque on 25 November but said he did not want the money back. Labour was to give the money to charity if he had not cashed it by 25 May.