Pandora: Abrahams returns to the Labour fold

Good news at last for Gordon Brown. David Abrahams, the mega-bucks property developer and (very) generous party donor has, it seems, returned to the fold.

Abrahams found himself experiencing a spell in the cold after he became the focus of Labour's notorious 2007 "donorgate" scandal.

At the time, a police investigation was called and several senior heads were forced to roll when it was disclosed that the businessman had given more than £650,000 using associates' names.

"That's all history now," Abrahams, who was seen attending the party's official conference dinner on Tuesday night, tells us.

"I've always done campaigning – there are a lot of issues to be campaigned for, and a lot of good causes. I've been involved with the Labour Party, doing electioneering and so on, since before I could reach a letterbox. It's in my blood: it always has been and always will be. I've never stopped being a member."

Naturally, the news will thrill perspiring party treasurers, currently contemplating the unappetising prospect of funding an election from their ever-shrinking coffers.

Abrahams, however, is refusing to commit – publicly, at least – to any cash injections just yet. "I'm not some financial whizz kid," he explains. "I don't know anything about finances. I don't want to distract everyone with talk of that now. What I did wasn't illegal at the time, and it's still not. But I'm tribal Labour, and I want to help in whatever way I can."

Garrett pleases the diners in Brighton

While conference-bound young Tories prepare to 'ave it large to the warblings of obscure early-Nineties club diva Angie Brown ("Yo DJ pump this party"), it seems Labour can, at least, still pull in the stars. We're told that guests at Tuesday's conference dinner were serenaded by Lesley Garrett and then kept laughing past the early editions by Jo Brand. Well, it beats Simply Red.

Conway fails to pull an audience

A golden opportunity, now, for those still begrudging the thousands paid to Tory MP Derek Conway and his "parliamentary researcher" sons. The Iranian channel PressTV is finding it so difficult to get a studio audience for his chat show that it is offering £10 to anyone willing to fill an empty chair. If no one is persuaded, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner might want to pop along. According to the Register of Members' Interests, Conway ceased working with the channel in May.

Being Miss Bailey

Could another change of career be on the cards for Laura Bailey?

The willowy model and one-time squeeze of Richard Gere, who has already proved her hand at writing and acting, spent Tuesday evening at the Peroni Blue Ribbon Design Awards, joking that since becoming a mother she has been tempted to pursue teaching.

Your party anthems

Last week we asked for an appropriate Labour conference anthem. By far our preferred option was The Doors' "Been Down So Long", as sent in by David Ferrabee. In the event, the party's choice was rather less tasteful: a combination of KC and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way I Like It" and M People's "Moving On Up". Groovy.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor