Lord McCluskey, the Scottish peer and former judge, will join Lord Harries, the ex- Bishop of Oxford, in giving advice on the changes Labour needs to make in handling donations, Gordon Brown announced yesterday.

Educated at Holy Cross Academy in Edinburgh and at the city's university, John McCluskey, 78, is one of Scotland's most respected legal figures. He graduated in the early 1950s and shortly thereafter served in the RAF.

In 1955, he was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates, becoming a QC in 1967. In the mid-1970s, the father-of-three became Sheriff Principal of Dumfries and Galloway and in 1976 became Baron McCluskey of Churchhill in Edinburgh.

Also in the mid to late 1970s, the crossbench peer became Scotland's Solicitor General during the time of the Wilson and Callaghan governments. Later, he became the Labour opposition's spokes-man for Scottish legal affairs up to 1984.

His extra-parliamentary positions have included being the chairman of the Scottish Association for Mental Health and chairman of the John Smith Memorial Trust. His recreational activities include swimming and tennis.

Lords McCluskey and Harries will receive a report from Labour's former General Secretary Lord Whitty into all aspects of the secret donor controversy.