F1 boss snubs party funding inquiry
Labour was forced to disgorge the money after an alleged link was exposed between the donation and the Government's attempt to exempt Formula One from a European ban on the tobacco sponsorship of sport by tobacco companies.
After Labour had sought the advice of Lord Neill, who replaces Lord Nolan as chairman of the Committee on Standards in public life, he took the party completely by surprise - telling it to send the money back.
The party would have preferred the cash to have gone to charity, but Mr Ecclestone would have none of that. The cheque was sent to him, the cheque has been cashed and the affair is closed.
But Lord Neill wanted to re-open it to examine the motives behind such largescale donations.
He invited Mr Ecclestone to give evidence to the committee's latest sleaze- busting investigation, on the party funding question, which opens in London tomorrow. Mr Ecclestone has told Lord Neill that he will not appear.
Lord Neill said in a newspaper interview last night: "We have no power to make witnesses appear and he's not coming. But speaking for myself, I would have liked to have asked him about the generous donation. Why do people do it? Do the donors want something in return? Do they want doors to open for them?
"I think it is slightly intrusive to ask why they think the Labour Party or the Conservative Party is good news, but I think it is right to ask someone who has given a substantial sum of money to explain his motivation first hand."
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...