Fugitive Cypriot gave 25,000 pounds for Mandela party: Former Labour leader's endorsement used to persuade businessman to give money

The endorsement of Neil Kinnock, the former Labour leader, was used to persuade Charilaos Costa, a fugitive Cypriot businessman, to pay pounds 25,000 towards a party held after a concert celebrating the release of Nelson Mandela.

Mr Kinnock told the Independent he had given permission for his name to be used to attract sponsorship for a Wembley concert in 1990, but was 'pretty certain' that he had not made a personal request for money from Costa, whom he knew socially.

The Independent has learnt that the money was drawn from accounts in north London containing money siphoned from Costa's companies, which were also used to make donations to Labour. There is no suggestion that Mr Kinnock or the Anti- Apartheid Movement, which was involved in organising the concert, knew the origin of the money.

Mr Kinnock, who said he and his family once dined with Costa at the Cypriot businessman's expense, said that he had been approached by the Anti-Apartheid Movement to endorse the concert. The former Labour leader said that he was 'not unfriendly' towards Costa before it was known that he was being investigated by the Fraud Squad. But there was 'no reason' for him to ask Costa to make the donation because 'that wasn't the procedure of fund-raising being used by the Anti-Apartheid Movement'.

Richard Caborn, treasurer of the Anti-Apartheid Movement and also Labour MP for Sheffield Central, said that he had approached Mr Kinnock to ask him for permission to use his name for fund-raising purposes. Mr Caborn said that Costa was 'one of many' potential sponsors he approached. It was Mr Caborn's job to play host to Costa at the 1990 concert and introduce him to Mr Mandela.

In a sworn affadavit, Robinson Zymboulakis, Costa's former bank manager, said Costa had paid pounds 60,000 towards the costs associated with the Mandela visit. It is not yet clear what happened to the pounds 35,000 not spent on the party.

Mr Zymboulakis and other business associates of Costa's said that pounds 300,000 had passed through one account in 1990 and that the account was used to fund activities linked with Labour, including straightforward donations to party funds. Costa fled to Cyprus after being charged in 1991 with fraud involving pounds 3.5m.

There is no suggestion that either Mr Kinnock or the Anti-Apartheid Movement would have known of the origins of the money used for the after-concert party, which was held at the Natural History Museum in west London, as it was transferred to a legitimate company run by Costa before being paid out as sponsorship. Mr Kinnock and his wife Glenys were both present at the party.

Mr Kinnock and his wife visited Costa's factory in Enfield, north London. The former Labour leader also encouraged Costa to invest in his constituency and performed the opening ceremonies for his new factories in Pontllanfraith and Bridgend.

Mr Kinnock said he and members of his family had attended a restaurant lunch hosted by Costa and his family, but could not remember where or when. He confirmed that Costa had picked up the bill, but did not know what it amounted to.

News
people
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
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 General

Science Teacher

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Key stage 3 and 4 Teacher requi...

RE Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Teacher of Religious Education ...

A Level Chemistry Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: A Level Chemistry Teacher - Humb...

NQT Secondary Teachers

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is actively r...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence