Blair to allow inquiry into party's funding


London - The British Prime Minister, Mr Blair, announced yesterday that the House of Commons standards watchdog will be allowed to investigate party funding over the past five years, as he admitted the Labour Party had still not returned the £1 million donation from the Formula One chief, Mr Bernie Ecclestone, writes Rachel Donnelly.

Meanwhile, the Public Health Minister, Ms Tessa Jowell, confirmed the government is planning to exempt Formula One permanently from the proposed ban on tobacco advertising. Ms Jowell told the Commons European Legislation Select Committee, which is examining the government's negotiations with the EU on the advertising ban, that she had met Formula One representatives in May to discuss the ban and meeting the government's "public health objectives".