Liberal Democrat donor on trial accused of fraud

A leading Liberal Democrat donor is due to stand trial today accused of fraud.

Michael Brown, 42, gave the party £2.4 million in the run-up to the general election in 2005.

The Glasgow-born businessman faces a number of charges, including money laundering, theft and perverting the course of justice.

Reports suggest Mr Brown approached the party in 2004 asking if they needed any financial support.

However, by September of that year questions were raised over the legality of the donation as the 42-year-old did not live in Britain and was not registered to vote.

The Electoral Commission began an inquiry into the donation but suspended it when the police started their investigation.

The Telegraph reports that in August Mr Brown allegedly disappeared while awaiting trial and a judge at Southwark crown court issued an arrest warrant after a breach of bail conditions.