Clegg puts faith in Laws as negotiator for party funding talks

Nick Clegg has asked David Laws to lead cross-party talks on party funding in the latest stage of the former cabinet minister's political rehabilitation.

Mr Clegg has written to David Cameron and Ed Miliband proposing talks on donations, unions and existing levels of state funding. He will demand Labour and the Tories name two negotiators by next week and has proposed Mr Laws, a key player in the coalition negotiations in 2010, and the new Lib Dem chief executive, Tim Gordon.

"All political parties have had funding scandals before, and there will be more unless the system is cleaned up," said a source close to the Deputy PM. A report by the Committee on Standards in Public Life was rejected by all three parties.