Labour will not accept new donations from Max Mosley after racist leaflet row

Posted On: 
28th February 2018

Labour will no longer accept donations from Max Mosley after the privacy campaigner was caught in a storm over a racist leaflet, the party revealed today.

Tom Watson has recieved £500,000 in donations from Max Mosley.
PA Images

A spokesman for Jeremy Corbyn said funds from Mr Mosley would be stopped as part of a shift away from gifts by “large wealthy donors”.

The controversial ex-Formula 1 boss has given some £500,000 to Tom Watson and praised the deputy Labour leader as “one of the most honest and courageous politicians”.

But last night it was claimed he published a by-election leaflet in 1961 which said: “Coloured immigration threatens your children's health.”

The leaflet - which was found by the Daily Mail - appears to contradict evidence he gave to a High Court trial in 2008 that he had no knowledge of its existence.

Mr Mosley said last night that he did not remember the leaflet and insisted he was not a racist.

A Labour spokesperson said today: “We’ve shifted away from payments and contributions from large wealthy donors.

“We have wanted to keep quite a strong system of control on that and in the case of the Max Mosely payments they have come to an end and they won’t be restarted.”

The spokesperson added: “There won’t be any more contributions to the Labour party or Labour party frontbenchers by Max Mosely.”

The party said it would be evaluating donations based on whether they are “ethical and appropriate” in future.

Tory backbencher Anne Main raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions today as she noted that “a free and independent press is vital to our country”.

The St Albans MP asked Theresa May: “Does she share my concerns about the links Max Mosley has with Impress, and the links Max Mosley has with some of our leading politicians?”

The Prime Minister responded: “I absolutely agree that a free press is very important. It underpins our democracy.

“Whatever they say about us, whatever they write about us, it is important that they are able to hold politicians, the powerful, to account, and that they are able to shine a light in some of the darkest corners of our society.”

It is the second time this month that the Prime Minister has highlighted her support for a free press after she urged Jeremy Corbyn not to “shoot the messenger” over claims that he met with a Czech spy during the Cold War.