Determined Gould wants Labour “fight”

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has donated £1 million to the Labour party.

She said her donation was motivated by the party’s record on child poverty and criticised the Conservative’s plans to provide tax breaks for married couples.

The financial gift will come as a major boost to prime minister Gordon Brown ahead of the Labour annual conference, which begins this weekend.

In a statement Ms Rowling, who is worth an estimated £560 million, said: “I believe that poor and vulnerable families will fare much better under the Labour party than they would under a Cameron-led Conservative party.

“Gordon Brown has consistently prioritised and introduced measures that will save as many children as possible from a life lacking in opportunity or choice.

“The Labour government has reversed the long-term trend in child poverty, and is one of the leading EU countries in combating child poverty.”

Ms Rowling, who is known to be a personal friend of Mr Brown and his wife Sarah, added that the Conservative’s tax plans discriminated against single parents.

“David Cameron’s promise of tax perks for the married, on the other hand, is reminiscent of the Conservative government I experienced as a lone parent.

“It sends the message that the Conservatives still believe a childless, dual-income, but married, couple is more deserving of a financial pat on the head than those struggling, as I once was, to keep their families afloat in difficult times.”

In response, Mr Brown thanked the author for her donation, stating: “I am delighted that JK Rowling, who is one of the world’s greatest ever authors, has made such a generous donation.

“I thank her for supporting the Labour party and our values of social justice and opportunity for all.”

A number of celebrities have donated to the Labour party this year, including comedian Eddie Izzard, who gave almost £10,000 of his own money to the party.