Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is embroiled in a controversy about giving honors to supporters of his party, said Thursday he was considering giving up his power to nominate members of the House of Lords.
But Blair insisted that three men who gave large loans to the party would have made good members of the Lords, and he was satisfied that there had been no breach of rules on appointments or fundraising.
"It cannot be a barrier to appointment that someone has been a financial supporter of the party," Blair told his monthly news conference.
Blair said he was also looking again at the funding of political parties, including the possibility of state funding.
Labour Treasurer Jack Dromey complained Wednesday night that he knew nothing about the loans.
"Of course he should have known," Blair said. The prime minister confirmed that he had known the details of the loans.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke said in a British Broadcasting Corp. radio interview that there was no question of offers being given in return for campaign contributions or loans.
"The treasurer obviously should know about all the fundraising issues that arise," Clarke said.
"Jack has, quite reasonably in my opinion, asked for an inquiry into how the internal Labour Party procedures work, and I think the internal Labour Party procedures should work in a way that the treasurer is fully aware of everything that is done in this field," Clarke said.
Dromey said late Wednesday he had "no idea about the loans that were obtained in secret, and that's absolutely wrong. I want to ensure that this never, ever happens again."
He said he did not know who was responsible. "What I do know is that large numbers of loans were obtained, and we are looking into the details of this right now," he said.
Dromey, who has been party treasurer since 2004, is married to Constitutional Affairs Minister Harriet Harman. Harman's department said she was giving up her responsibilities for overseeing changes to the electoral system and reform of the House of Lords to avoid any conflict of interest, reports the AP.
By summer, the Russian army may break through Ukrainian defences, reach Odessa and liberate Transnistria. The West will only “condemn” Russia's actions and continue supporting Chisinau in words