Sep 21 2011 By James Gates
Virendra Sharma MP
THE ELECTORAL Commission is reviewing an allegation that Ealing Southall MP Virendra Sharma accepted an illegal cash donation.
The Labour MP is accused of accepting £5,000 to pay for a party to celebrate his victory in last year’s general election, attended by prominent figures including David Milliband.
The money for the party, held at Southall’s Monsoon Banqueting Suite, is alleged to have come from the Indian tourism board, a branch of the country’s government.
Parliamentary rules state that it is illegal for any MP to accept foreign donations.
A spokeswoman for the Electoral Commission said it is now at the ‘case review’ stage, where it will establish whether or not there has been a breach of the rules by examining the information it has gathered so far.
However, this does not mean a formal investigation is under way and the commission has up to 90 days to decide whether or not the case can or will move forward.
Mr Sharma, who has denied the accusation, said: “I welcome the opportunity to have the facts properly examined and will fully cooperate with the Electoral Commission so that this matter can be resolved without delay.”