Peerages for sale to party donors

The number of donors who were nominated for peerages by political parties has risen markedly. BBC's Newsnight programme said there appeared to be "an explosion" in the number after the Labour and Tory parties hit financial trouble due to the huge amounts spent to fight the 2005 general election.

The connection between donations and peerages has been scrutinised by Scotland Yard detectives for the past seven months, in an investigation now believed to be drawing to a close.

The latest figures were disclosed under freedom of information legislation by the Lords Appointments Commission, which vets nominations.

In the 27 months between July 2003 and October 2005, the two main political parties nominated eight donors to become members of the House of Lords. In the nine months between October 2005 and July this year, they nominated 11 donors.

BBC reveals increase in party donors nominated for peerages (The Guardian, 20 October 2006)