John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, is also likely to be questioned by detectives conducting the first major political corruption inquiry for more than 70 years. The ministers will be interviewed as witnesses but not as suspects.
Prime Minister Tony Blair, however, will be questioned by detectives within weeks, possibly under caution, becoming the first serving Prime Minister since Lloyd George to be interviewed in an honours-for-sale investigation.
Mr Brown has distanced himself from the controversy by publicly denying all knowledge of the 14 million pound loans from 12 benefactors.
Other ministers and leading members of Labour's ruling National Executive Committee, who were closely involved in the election planning, may also be questioned by detectives. They will be asked if they knew that the Prime Minister had nominated Sir David Garrard, a property developer, who secretly loaned 2.3 million Pounds before the last general election, Barry Townsley, a stockbroker, who loaned 1 million Pounds, Dr Chai Patel, the founder of the Priory Clinic, 1.5 million Pounds and Sir Gulam Noon, the curry magnate, 250,000 Pounds. Sir David and Mr Townsley also made donations of more than 3 million Pounds to the Prime Minister's flagship City Academy education schemes. All four businessmen have been interviewed under caution by the police.
A senior Labour official said last night ''Since he became Chancellor, Gordon has had nothing to do with party finances.'' The official stressed repeatedly that Mr Brown had ''known nothing whatsoever about the loan arrangement.'' Downing Street has still not been told by the police when the interview, expected to take place under caution, will actually happen.
Lord Levy, fund-raiser to the Prime Minister, has been arrested and interviewed twice while the bio-technology millionaire Sir Christopher Evans, who loaned 1 million Pounds, and Des Smith, a head teacher who raised money for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, have been arrested and bailed.
Lord Sainsbury, the science minister, who made a 1 million Pounds loan, and Ian McCartney, the trade minister, who is said to have signed nomination papers in his hospital bed, have also been interviewed.
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