James Kirkup Political Editor
A financier who owns the world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturing plant gifted £250,000 to the Labour Party just months before ministers promised new planning rules to fast-track wind farm developments, it was revealed yesterday.
Nigel Doughty, whose investment company owns LM Glasfiber, made the donation in May, according to Electoral Commission records.
In July, the government’s Energy Review pledged to make it harder for residents and environmental groups to block applications to build wind farms in England. Ministers argued that more wind farms were vital to reducing Britain’s carbon emissions and dependence on fuels such as oil and gas.
Both Labour and Mr Doughty, who is also chairman of Nottingham Forest FC, have denied any improper link between his donations and government policy.
Electoral Commission figures released yesterday provide more proof of Labour’s financial crisis. By the end of June, Labour had debts of £28 million,
and in the next 100 days the party must repay more than £4 million to former benefactors. Almost £13 million in loans from wealthy backers is at the heart of Labour’s “cash for peerages” scandal.
The money was lent before last year’s election and now the party is struggling to repay its debts.
Already, a loan of £1.5 million from one backer, the healthcare tycoon Chai Patel, has had to be rescheduled.
Underlining Labour’s financial troubles, the Conservatives recorded healthy donations, receiving more than £6 million between April and June, almost double that donated to Labour.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding