UK Politics

Political parties report £6.5m donations

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The Conservatives reported over £2.8m in donations in the three months after the EU referendum - the highest amount of the major parties, figures reveal.

A total of almost £6.5m in donations were registered for July to September, Electoral Commission figures show.

The Labour Party reported £2,027,371 in donations, while the Liberal Democrats received £928,888.

Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru reported £11,000, the BNP reported £94,428 and UKIP £42,943.

These figures relate to the period between 1 July and 30 September 2016.

The Electoral Commission said the £6.5m was £8.5m down on the second quarter of 2016 - which involved elections and the UK's EU referendum - but around £363,000 more than the same quarter in 2015.

The seven political parties to report the most donations were:

  • Conservative and Unionist Party - £2,861,788
  • Labour Party - £2,027,371
  • Liberal Democrats - £928,888
  • Co-operative Party - £394,655
  • Plaid Cymru - £111,085
  • British National Party - £94,428
  • UK Independence Party (UKIP) - £42,943

The Conservative Party received 160 donations, with Michael Davis making the biggest donation at £269,000, followed by Alexander Fraser handing over £260,000.

The party also received £200,000 from the Conservative Draws Society and £165,000 from David Brownlow.

Labour received 91 donations, including £689,362 from the UK's largest trade union UNISON, £429,928 from Unite the Union, £308,049 from the GMB and £247,923 from the Communications Workers Union.


Liberal Democrats received 167 donations, with Graham and Susan Tobbell contributing the most at £125,000 each. Of the Co-operative Party's four donors, £312,800 from the Co-operative Group Ltd was the largest.

Bob Posner, the Electoral Commission's director of political finance and regulation, and legal counsel, said: "This data is hugely important in ensuring that our political finance system is as transparent as possible and it is therefore always disappointing where there is a failure to meet the statutory deadline.

"Where there is no reasonable explanation for such a failure, we will take a robust approach in dealing with this."

In addition to the donations registered, five parties accepted more than £2.3m from public funds - money and assistance to parliamentary opposition parties to assist with costs.

The value of outstanding loans to political parties stood at £4,358,508 on 30 September - a decrease of £191,080 compared to the second quarter of 2016.

Thirteen parties failed to meet the deadline for reporting this quarter.

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