The Labor Party was forced to hand over a £ 6,000 donation from a director of Everton Football Club for violating electoral law.

The Labor Northwest regional team accepted the donation in October from Alexander Ryazantsev, a British businessman whose father played for a number of football teams in the former Soviet Union.

However, the electoral commission investigated and found that Mr Ryazantsev’s donation was ineligible last month.

The party then forfeited the donation to the commission, which it has now forwarded to the Ministry of Finance to use for state expenses.

A commission source said Labor “told us during our investigation that Mr Ryazantsev was not on an electoral roll at the time of the donation.

“It is possible that someone has voted in the past and is later not on an electoral roll. This could include a scenario like moving house and not updating their electoral roll information.

“Being a British citizen alone does not allow anyone [to] donate to political parties. ”

The donation was Mr. Ryazantsev’s first to the Labor Party.

Mr. Ryazantsev, a successful businessman, joined Everton’s board of directors in March 2016, not long after advising Farhad Moshiri on the purchase of 49.9 percent of the club’s shares.

Friends of Mr. Ryazantsev, known as Sasha, are reported to have been “stunned” by the verdict, which he learned of only after being contacted by The Sunday Telegraph.

British taxpayer since 2000

His friends insisted he had been a UK resident and UK taxpayer since 2000 and a UK citizen since 2005.

He attended business school in London and participated in several elections. His children were born and raised in the UK. He is not based in any other country, they said.

One said, “He’s amazed by this. He is a UK citizen. He has lived here for 20 years. He is entered in the electoral register. “

The friend said Mr Ryazantsev made the donation “in good faith” to Labor and said he was on the electoral roll and voted in several UK elections.

The friend said, “Sasha has done nothing wrong if anything is the victim of a typographical or administrative error by the Labor Party or the Electoral Commission.”

Conservatives, who were regularly criticized by Labor for accepting money from Russian donors, jumped into the news.

Tory MP Peter Gibson said: “This is blind hypocrisy by the Labor Party, which is seizing every opportunity to attack the Conservative Party, which receives legal and properly declared donations from people of Russian origin.

“I hope the Labor Party will think twice about unjustified attacks on people in this country of Russian origin who are British citizens and have the democratic right to donate to a political party.”

A Labor spokesman said: “We have worked with the Electoral Commission. We have resolved it in a way that is satisfactory to them.”