Anthony Weldon, head of the Team 1,000, a multi-millionaire with the task of wiping out the party's debts, resigned as a party treasurer. Mr Weldon, a member of the Tory board of treasurers, said: 'My reasons are solely to prevent further embarrassment to the party.'
Mr Weldon, who was responsible for raising donations of pounds 1,000 from party supporters, was barred from trading in the US after falling foul of US trade regulations over multi-million dollar cocoa investments.
A party spokesman said the case involved a civil offence laid three years ago. He said the offence was 'technical'.