Motor sport chief is Labour contributor

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The Government faces fresh controversy over the exemption of Formula One motor racing from a tobacco sponsorship ban after it emerged that a key figure in the sport is a long-standing contributor to Labour Party funds, writes Stephen Castle.

Max Mosley has been a member of Labour's Thousand Club, qualification for which entails contributing at least pounds 1,000 a year, for several years.

As chairman of the Federation International d'Automobile, Mr Mosley was part of the delegation of senior motor racing figures which met Tony Blair at Downing Street to make the case that the sport should not be subjected to a ban on tobacco sponsorship deals.

Asked whether Bernie Ecclestone, another leading figure in the sport, has contributed in the last year to the Labour Party, a spokesman said the party "will not divulge internally or externally any information about whether donations have been made to the party in advance of the publication of accounts". The accounts, when published, will list donors of all gifts of more than pounds 5,000.