UK Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed today he had dinner with "significant" Conservative Party donors at his flat in Downing Street on three occasions since becoming Prime Minister, as well as at a post-election dinner in No 10 in 2010.
The Prime Minister said he will publish details of the meetings later today, and will order the party to publish details of all meals with donors on a quarterly basis.
But he insisted that most of the guests at the dinners were long-standing acquaintances and former Tory co-treasurer Peter Cruddas had never recommended that a donor should be invited.
Mr Cruddas was forced to resign his post on Saturday after the Sunday Times published secret recordings in which he told undercover reporters that they could secure meetings with senior ministers by giving the party money.
Pressure had been mounting on the UK Prime Minister to publish details of his private meetings with donors since the "cash-for-access" story broke at the weekend.
He decided to use opening comments before a speech on dementia care in London to make a statement on the affair.
Mr Cameron said: "In the two years I have been Prime Minister, there have been three occasions on which significant donors have come to a dinner in my flat. In addition, there was a further post-election dinner which included donors in Downing Street itself shortly after the general election.
"We will be publishing full details of all these today. None of these dinners were fundraising dinners and none of these dinners were paid for by the taxpayer.
"I have known most of those attending for many years."
He added: "Peter Cruddas has never recommended anyone to come to dinner in my flat, nor has he been to dinner there himself.
"I already publish details of my external meetings as Prime Minister - the first Prime Minister ever to do so - and I also publish all meetings that I have with media editors and proprietors.
"From now on, the Conservative Party will publish details every quarter of any meals attended by any major donors, whether they take place at Downing Street, Chequers, or any other official residence."
He said it was publicly known that the Conservatives ran a "Leader's Group" for those who donated more than £50,000.
"From now on, the Conservative Party will in addition publish a register of the major donors who actually attend those fundraising meetings," he added.
He also stressed that no members of the No 10 policy unit had met individuals at the request of Mr Cruddas.
Mr Cameron announced that Conservative peer and senior lawyer Lord Gold will lead a party inquiry into the Cruddas affair.
Mr Cameron said he had broadened the Tories' funding base since becoming leader, but there was still an "urgent need" for wider reform in British politics.
"I am ready to impose a cap on individual political donations of £50,000 without any further need for state funding.
"But to be fair this must apply equally to trade unions as well as private individuals or businesses."
Labour leader Ed Miliband is to respond to the Commons statement being made by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude later.
Sources said Mr Miliband had contacted Mr Cameron's office this morning, insisting that the Prime Minister should be leading in the House for the Government.
Mr Cameron announced new procedures to be followed by ministers if they are approached by donors on policy issues.
Mr Cruddas said major donors would be able to feed ideas into the "policy committee" at Downing Street. But Mr Cameron said that no such committee existed, and no one from the No 10 Policy Unit had ever met anyone as a result of a request from the former co-treasurer.
He added: "To avoid any perception of undue influence, from now on we will put in place new procedures in which if any ministerial contact with a party donor prompts a request for policy advice, the minister will refer this to his or her private office, who can seek guidance from the permanent secretary."
The Conservative Party released a list of dinners at No 10 attended by significant donors, including the "thank-you dinner" following the general election on July 14 2010, which was attended by Anthony Bamford of JCB, hedge fund tycoon Michael Hintze, Telegraph Media Group chief executive Murdoch MacLennan, Tory peer Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover, Lansdowne Partners chief executive Sir Paul Ruddock, City financier Mike Farmer and Michael Freeman.
On February 28 last year, property tycoon and major donor David Rowland, who had previously been appointed party treasurer but quit before taking up the post, attended a dinner in the flat, along with party co-chairman Lord Feldman.
On November 2 last year, Mr Cameron held a "social dinner for strong and long-term supporters of the party, with whom the PM has a strong relationship", including banker and Tory donor Henry Angest, Mr Farmer and oil company boss Ian Taylor.
And on February 27 this year, he held a social dinner with former treasurer and major donor Michael Spencer and his partner.
Downing Street said it would not be releasing retrospective records of party dinners at Chequers as it would be difficult to provide an accurate record.
It said there had been no "donor only" meals at the grace and favour estate.
It will release details of events with significant donors in the future.
No 10 said there is nothing wrong with the Prime Minister meeting activists who happen to have donated money to the Conservatives and pointed out his mother is a party donor.
It said that while No 10 was a Government building, Chequers was held in trust.
The dinners have not been paid for by the taxpayer and on occasion Mr Cameron cooks.
Cross-party talks are expected to start this week about party funding, led by Francis Maude for the Conservatives.
A spokeswoman said: "We don't want to go ahead without cross-party agreement."
Downing Street insisted that the Government had been "more transparent" than any previous administration.
Asked about the actions of Mr Cruddas, the spokeswoman said: "We are just as flabbergasted as you guys."