Tories top latest donation figures after getting £3m

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The Conservatives received £3.2m in donations in the final three months of 2010, the latest official figures on party funding show.

Labour were given £2.5m between October and December 2010, according to the Electoral Commission, while the Liberal Democrats got £464,994.

The British National Party (BNP), meanwhile, were left more than £100,000 in a will during the same period.

Donations to all parties totalled £6.5m, down from £7.2m a year earlier.

Under Electoral Commission rules, only gifts totalling £7,500 or more for a central party, or £1,500 for a constituency association, have to be declared.

Individual donations to the Tories included £335,000 from Conservative peer Lord Bishop, the former boss of the BMI airline and £300,000 from May Makhzoumi, the London-based wife of Lebanese businessman Fouad Makhzoumi.

Public funds

Corporate donors over the period included International Motors (£105,352) and IPLG Ltd (£50,000).

The watchdog's figures show that trade unions contributed £2.2m in cash and non-cash donations to Labour over the period, 88% of its total. Ed Miliband was elected Labour leader in late September.

Excluding union money, Labour received no single donations of more than £50,000 although the author and long-time Labour supporter Ken Follett gave the party £5,000.

The Lib Dems received £81,938 worth of donations from companies and £286,053 from individual sources - the largest coming from John Rainbow (£11,200).

Separate figures show that the Conservatives had outstanding loans of £2.6m over the period, while Labour and the Lib Dems owed £9.8m and £481,144 respectively.

The BNP received a £109,000 bequest from supporter Edward Alderson during the period, following a £65,000 contribution from the same source in the summer of 2009.

The party said it had received a "nice chunk" of money but would not give any further details about the donor as the bequest was a private matter.

Five political parties reported receiving public funds totalling £4,083,504 over the quarter.

The Labour Party, the SNP and Plaid Cymru accepted a total of £3,767,588 in "Short money", which the UK Parliament pay directly to opposition parties in the Commons to help them develop policies.

The Conservative Party, the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats accepted a total of £120,776 in assistance paid directly to opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament.

Labour also accepted a total of £195,140 in "Cranborne money", which is for opposition parties in the House of Lords.

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