Osborne facing watchdog probe over donations

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The Shadow chancellor George Osborne was today facing the prospect of a parliamentary investigation over his failure to declare £500,000 in donations in the Register of Members' Interests.

Labour MPs John Mann and Kevan Jones said that they had lodged a formal complaint with the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, John Lyon.

The commissioner's office confirmed that the complaint had been received.

The Tories argue that the donations - which were paid through the Conservative Party - were properly declared to the Electoral Commission under party funding laws.

However critics say that they should also have appeared in Mr Osborne's entry in the Register of Members' Interests as some of the donors specified that the money was being given to help cover the costs of running his office.

Mr Osborne himself said that he had sought the advice of the House of Commons authorities and has called for the rules to be clarified.

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