Ex-SDP leader makes donation to Labour after reforms

Former SDP leader Lord Owen has made a donation to Labour coffers and praised the "brave and bold" reforms of the party's links with trade unions pushed through by Ed Miliband.

The peer served in a number of high-profile government roles for Labour, including foreign secretary, before leading the breakaway "gang of four" over differences on Europe and defence after a bruising party conference in 1981.

Former SDP leader Lord Owen who has made a donation to Labour coffers Credit: PA

After far-reaching changes to Labour's structure were overwhelmingly agreed at a special conference in London, Lord Owen revealed he has given up his crossbench status in the House of Lords to make a contribution of "over £7,500" to his former party, but will remain independent.

He said: "This very desirable change, nevertheless, threatens to weaken Labour's financial support at a critical time when I and many others are hoping to see the party produce a plan for government from May of next year to rescue our NHS."

Read: Labour party approve reforms to historic union links


Labour approves reform to its historic union links

Labour's special conference has approved reforms to the party's structures, including its historic link with unions.