Wealthy donor helps fund Labour office

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Josh Arghiros is helping to fund new offices for Brighton and Hove District Labour Party.

Josh Arghiros - the millionaire property developer behind the city's doomed £290 million King Alfred Centre re-development - is helping to fund new offices for Brighton and Hove District Labour Party.

Mr Arghiros, who lives in London, has given £10,000 - even though he is not a supporter - because of his longstanding admiration for Peter Kyle, the party's parliamentary candidate in Hove.

The gift to the city party - along with another £10,000 donation from a Ms Susan Ruddick, someone unknown to many senior Labour figures in the city - is helping to fund new party offices at 99 Church Road, Hove.

The offices (pictured) - with an asking rent of £26,000 a year - are headquarters for the citywide party, which has left its accommodation in the nearby offices of the GMB trade union.

Yesterday, in an exclusive interview, Mr Arghiros said: “I am doing it because of Peter Kyle. I really trust him. He is a good, good guy. If he had been a Conservative, I would still support him.”

He added that he had previously been "quite close" to Labour Party councillors, but that he no longer envisaged developing projects in Brighton and Hove: "Not until they get a grip and get some leadership. It’s not a city you can do business in."

Many commentators believe that Labour’s dogged support for Mr Arghiros’s ambitious proposals of King Alfred Centre contributed to the party losing the city council elections in 2007.