Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain tonight admitted that he failed to register a £5,000 donation to his deputy leadership campaign by Labour's new chief fund raiser. Mr Hain blamed an "administrative error" for the failure to inform the Electoral Commission of the donation by Jon Mendelsohn. "In the light of recent events, it has come to my attention that a donation from Jon Mendelsohn to my deputy leadership campaign was mistakenly not registered with the Electoral Commission," Mr Hain said in a statement. "Jon Mendelsohn made a personal contribution of £5,000 at the end of June 2007. We wish to make clear that this was entirely an administrative error on the part of my campaign. "I very much regret that the donation was not registered as it should have been and I am taking immediate steps to do so." Mr Mendelsohn, who was not the party's fund raiser at the time, is already facing calls for his resignation after the disclosure that he was aware two months ago of the proxy donations to the party made by property developer David Abrahams.
The question Mr Mendelsohn will need to answer is this: was it truly a "personal" donation? I am sure it is a coincidence that the donation was for £5,000, exactly the same amount as Mrs Kidd wanted to donate to Gordon Brown's campaign, and exactly the same amount that Mr Abrahams gave to Hilary Benn. The donation was made at the end of June, just shortly after Mr Mendelsohn offered two different leadership campaigns "help" in raising funds for their campaigns, according to today's Evening Standard. Funny, that.