Cabinet urged out of closet over peerages

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Gay and lesbian fans of equality minister Ruth Kelly will be interested to hear that she has been asked to give evidence of what she knew about loans made to the Labour Party.

Ms Kelly, Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, which will oversee new equality regulations regarding the gay community, has been asked to provide in writing anything she knows in relation to the cash for peerages scandal rocking British politics.

She is not a suspect and is willingly co-operating along with Chancellor Gordon Brown, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, and other senior cabinet figures such as Home Secretary John Reid and Foreign Secretary Patricia Hewitt.

Political analysts claim Prime Minister Tony Blair may soon be questioned, although the police refuse to confirm if they had contacted him.

Scotland Yard are currently investigating the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives and the Labour Party over claims that the parties had been giving peerages in return for donations and loans. This breaks a 1925 law banning the sale of honours.

So far Labour chief fundraiser Lord Levy has been arrested and interviewed twice, while science entrepreneur Sir Christopher Evans, who lent Labour money, was arrested last month.

Earlier this year, Des Smith, a head teacher involved in Labour’s flagship city academies was arrested and questioned.

All three deny any wrongdoing.