Lord Strasburger resigns from Lib Dems over '£10,000 illegal donation' allegations

Claims will apparently be raised against Paul Strasburger on Channel 4's Dispatches programme on Monday

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A Liberal Democrat peer has resigned from the party amidst claims that he accepted a potentially illegal donation.

Paul Strasburger said that he had been informed that allegations would be made against him in Channel 4’s Dispatches, due to be aired on Monday, and that he had referred the claims against himself to the Electoral Commission.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the programme will say a “£10,000 donation was paid by the stepfather of an undercover businessman which would be against the rules of a donations.”

Under rules overseen by the Electoral Commission and set out in law, any donation above £7,500 has to be declared and the use of a proxy as a donor, in order to hide the real giver of the money, is not permitted.

However, the member of the House of Lords has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

In a statement released in Friday evening, he said: “Whatever Channel 4 may say in their Dispatches programme, I do not think I have committed any offence. Having said that, I believe that we should all be accountable for what we do, so I have invited the Electoral Commission to carry an investigation into my actions.

“In the meantime, whilst I maintain that I have committed no offence, I have stopped fundraising for the party. Also, for the sake of the party, I have resigned the whip from the Liberal Democrat group in the House of Lords until the investigation is completed.”

Strasburger said that he had been a victim of entrapment by the television programme.

A spokesman for the party said: “Dispatches has raised important questions about one particular donation, which the party is taking seriously. The party had no reason to believe that the donation was made by anyone other than the person who signed the cheque.”

The spokesman added that the party had asked the Electoral Commission whether the donation should be handed to the commission or returned to the donor.