Brent Central Constituency Labour Party rejects £1,000 donation from Tony Blair

Dawn Butler outside her office in Willesden High Road

Dawn Butler outside her office in Willesden High Road - Credit: Archant

The Brent Central branch of the Labour Party has rejected a £1,000 donation from former Prime Minister Tony Blair to help fund their General Election campaign.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The news comes after Dawn Butler, the Labour candidate for the constituency, told the Times the decision on whether to accept the donation would be left to her party branch.

The ex-Labour politician has donated £106,000 to be split among the party’s 106 target seats of which Brent Central is one.

However, several candidates have refused to accept the money because of his involvement with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A spokesman for Brent Central Constituency Labour Party told the Times: “We have in voted to reject a campaign donation of £1,000 from former Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

“Our only focus is on fighting for the people of Brent and we will be dedicating all our energy towards running the best campaign possible.

“We have no wish to see debates about the donation distract from this, and therefore thought it prudent to make our position clear and draw a line under the matter.”

Most Read

The Brent Central seat, currently held by Liberal Democrat Sarah Teather, is being hotly contested by Labour after she managed to overturn a nominal 7,000 majority to beat Ms Butler in 2015.

Before then Ms Butler had held the Labour safe seat of Brent South and Ms Teather was the MP for Brent East – a previously Labour seat she won for the first time in a by-election in 2003.

In 2010, boundary changes saw the political rivals vying for the same seat.

In 2013, Ms Teather announced she would be stepping down and leaving the political world at the next General Election.

Ibrahim Taguri was chosen as the Lib Dem candidate but he quit the party a fortnight ago following claims he had attempted to bypass strict rules regarding party donations.

His replacement has yet to be selected.