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Harman blocks Gordon Brown's farewell honours

LABOUR’S stand-in leader Harriet Harman is blocking honours for ex-PM Gordon Brown’s pals.

Mr Brown has drawn up a list of those he wants to have seats in the House of Lords.

But Ms Harman says she will NOT sign off peerages for party donors for fear of reigniting the cash-for-honours row.

Mr Brown has the right to a Resignation Honours List as a PM standing down from No 10.

And he wants to reward Labour Party donors and loyalists who stood by him.

The list is a closely-guarded secret but is thought to include donors like Nigel Doughty and Peter Coates. Mr Doughty, founder of private equity firm Doughty Hanson, gave Labour £1million in the run-up to the last election.

And Mr Coates, director of online gambling firm Bet365 and Stoke City FC chairman, has given the party £400,000.

He sparked controversy by giving £50,000 to the party in 2004 while the Labour government was drafting final proposals to reform the gambling industry.

Ms Harman says they must be approved by whoever becomes new Labour leader this month.

A Westminster source said: “Harriet won’t rubber-stamp the list. She is adamant it will have to wait for the new leader. The issue is the donors.”

Ms Harman does not want to risk a repeat of the cash-for-honours scandal, which saw senior Labour figures arrested and Tony Blair quizzed by cops over claims honours were given out in return for donations. However, her spokesman said: “We are not making any comment.”

Labour leadership favourite David Miliband is already facing questions of his own over donations to his campaign.

He took £50,000 from a businessman that the party’s fundraiser Lord Levy had previously rejected as a donor.

The Tories also face renewed questions after it emerged business leaders who buy £1,000 -a-head tickets to a fund-raising party conference dinner will get to sit with ministers.




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