Immigration officials have been asked by a Tory MP to investigate whether Ed Miliband’s American campaigning guru is working illegally in the UK and whether he should be deported.
Labour has insisted veteran community organiser Arnie Graf has the correct visa for his activities and is not paid for his work, but have acknowledged he is reimbursed for expenses and loss of earnings during visits to the UK.
Tory MP Priti Patel has written to ask whether the payments breach the terms of his business visa.
Labour stressed that Mr Graf was not employed by the party and did not live in the UK, but only visited “a couple of times a year”.
A Labour Party spokesman said: “Arnie Graf has a visa which allows him to enter the UK for permitted business activities. These activities have been fully disclosed to the UK immigration authorities when obtaining the visa .
“He is not employed by the Labour Party but advises us on campaigns and we reimburse him for lost earnings and expenses.”
Ms Patel has written to David Wood, director general of immigration enforcement, demanding an urgent investigation.
Her letter says: “As you know, paying individuals to work in the UK who do not have the appropriate visa is a serious criminal offence. I understand that the individual involved would also be liable for deportation. I would therefore be very grateful if you could investigate this case as a matter of urgency.”