Hague was aware of Ashcroft tax deal, leaked papers suggest

Former Tory leader was "satisfied" with deal allowing Ashcroft to remain a non-dom.

William Hague, was kept informed about the negotiations of Lord Ashcroft's tax status, leaked papers to the BBC have suggested. The former Conservative leader was said to be "satisified" with the final outcome in July 2000.

Lord Ashcroft, a major Tory donor and deputy chairman, promised to become a full UK taxpayer following his elevation to the House of Lords in 2000. But earlier this month he admitted that he later struck a deal with officials that allowed him to remain a "non-dom" and avoid paying tax on his overseas income.

Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, has previously claimed that he only discovered Ashcroft's tax status a "few months" ago and that he was not privy to the final agreement made by the peer.

The Commons public administration committee will today hold a one-off hearing into the undertakings Ashcroft gave, but neither he nor Hague are expected to attend.

The Tories have promised that Ashcroft will stand down from his party role after the election but Labour has called for him to be sacked immediately.