US Britpack lead cheers for Blair

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A discreet campaign has been launched in the United States by notable British expatriates in New York including the film director Alan Parker and the former Sunday Times editor, Harold Evans, to raise funds for the Labour Party.

Under the banner of "Britain after the Elections", a letter has been sent to scores of prominent Britons around the US promising different events designed to bolster support for Labour in America including one on Wall Street in February and another on the West Coast.

The group has asked Alan Parker, director of the newly released film Evita, to host what would be billed as an evening of British entertainment in Los Angeles with seats offered at a high price. Negotiations are under way, meanwhile, to bring Gordon Brown, the shadow Chancellor, to chair the Wall Street event. Glenda Jackson may also participate.

"It is an attempt to level the playing field for Labour," explained Mr Evans.