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Labour donor is hedge fund manager


A Vote Labour sign in Reading, Berkshire, during the 2010 General Election campaign.

A Vote Labour sign in Reading, Berkshire, during the 2010 General Election campaign.

A Vote Labour sign in Reading, Berkshire, during the 2010 General Election campaign.

A 'mystery' donor who has given nearly £600,000 to Labour has been revealed as a hedge fund manager.

Martin Taylor, who is said to have had at least one meeting with Ed Miliband, was registered as making large contributions to party coffers.

But his identity had remained unclear until now as Electoral Commission records of all donations above £7,500 merely gave his name.

The news is likely to provoke questions for Mr Miliband as he has previously criticised the Tories for being over-reliant on hedge fund moguls.

In a statement issued this evening, Mr Taylor insisted there was "no mystery" surrounding him.

"This Martin Taylor is me. I am a born and bred Londoner, who also happens to be a hedge fund manager. And I am proud to support the Labour Party," he said.

"This may seem a bit odd to many people. It is commonly believed that everyone in the financial sector supports the Conservative Party, in a quest to pay ever lower levels of tax...

"I believe very strongly that everyone should contribute to society and those who are lucky enough to earn a lot more should contribute more than others.

"This principle has become particularly important since the global financial crisis in 2008 threw Western economies into recession, reduced living standards and sparked a wave of cutbacks on government spending: cutbacks that have hit those with the least hardest.

Mr Taylor highlighted the importance of the NHS in his decision to back Labour - and said he was in favour of the controversial 'mansion tax' policy.

"It (the NHS) has suffered from enormous financial strain over the past few years and vital improvements, such as reducing GP waiting times, are needed," he said.

"These do not come for free. That is why I support Labour's proposed mansion tax which will be levied on the owners of houses worth more than £2 million.

"The final reason I support Labour is my family history. My dad was a local councillor in Lewisham, South East London, for over 30 years and my mum rose to be the headteacher of a comprehensive school. They taught me daily about about fairness."

A Labour Party spokesman said "We are grateful to people from all walks of life who support the Labour Party and our better plan.

"Unlike David Cameron and the Conservatives who increasingly rely on the money of an exclusive group of donors - the same people who they have rewarded with tax breaks - Ed Miliband will enter Downing Street owing nothing to anybody."