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.

pandora@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

E150/2014 - English Language Checker (Grade B3)

On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?