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UK government plans law banning secret loans to political parties

[JURIST] UK Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs Lord Falconer [official profile] has suggested that new laws should be enacted requiring loans to political parties to be publicly disclosed. In letters to all UK political parties, Lord Falconer has proposed that a ban on secret party loans be included in the Electoral Administration Bill [text] which returns to the UK House of Lords [official website] Tuesday. Falconer's request came after allegations [BBC Q&A] surfaced earlier this month that several businessmen who lent undisclosed sums to the governing Labour Party [party website] led by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [official website] were recommended for peerages. Labour has denied all such allegations and Falconer has rejected contentions that the passage of such an amendment would force Blair out of Downing Street, saying other political parties have taken advantage of similar loans.

The Conservative Party [party website] also has plans to revise party funding policies, which include a proposal by leader David Cameron [official profile] to limit the amounts of party donations by individuals, businesses and unions, and also reduce the number of MPs by 10 percent to help fund political parties. ITV has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

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