CSV stands by president over Labour funding row

Community Service Volunteers is defending its president, Lord Levy, after he became embroiled in the Labour Party loans controversy.

The charity has denied that Lord Levy's links to the affair will tarnish its reputation. A spokesman said: "CSV is proud that Lord Levy devotes so much time to supporting CSV's work.

"His inspirational leadership, his expertise and his dedication to volunteer involvement are a huge asset. Thanks to his efforts, thousands of volunteers have helped millions of people."

The Commons Public Administration Select Committee is to ask Levy, Labour's chief fundraiser, to answer questions on his role in arranging a series of unpublicised loans of millions of pounds from businessmen, some of whom were later nominated for peerages.

Similarly, the Russell Commission has endorsed Rod Aldridge, who stepped down as chairman of outsourcing firm Capita last week, as a "fantastic candidate" for the chair of the volunteering charity that will implement the commission's recommendations.

Aldridge described as "spurious" the claims that his £1m loan to Labour resulted in the group getting government contracts, but quit as executive chairman, saying he did not want "this misconception" to continue.

"I think his decision to stand down from Capita is unrelated to his role at the Russell Commission," said a commission spokesman.

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