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.

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits